Public Policy and Social Context: The Influence of Gender and Race on Public Child Care Spending across the American States, 1999-2004

Rebecca Dunning, Duke University

In sharp contrast to the past, American states are committing significant resources to subsidized child care. This resource commitment varies significantly between states. Based on the historical influence of race and gender on national child care policy, this paper tests the impact of these constructs on state spending levels and spending trajectories in the years following welfare reform. Utilizing a multilevel growth modeling strategy I examine child care spending nested within states for the years 1999-2004. Findings are presented on the relative explanatory power of both context-specific means (e.g. mean level of racial heterogeneity per state or mother’s labor force participation) and institutional measures (e.g. prior legislation). Controlling for social, economic, and political factors, preliminary results indicate that the contextual measures play a significant part in explaining both the between-state differences in levels of spending, as well as spending growth trajectories between the study years of 1999 and 2004.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 3