- Emma Caspar and Steven T. Cook
- November 2006
- Link to Caspar_Cook_Task9B1 (PDF)
The Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program provides assistance to low-income families who need help with child care in order to work. Families must meet both financial and nonfinancial eligibility criteria to participate. Currently, child and family support payments are not counted as income when determining financial eligibility. In this report, we assess the extent to which families participating in the child care subsidy program would be disqualified were support income considered in calculating eligibility and benefit levels.
To examine the effect of counting child support as income in child care subsidy calculations, data were drawn from CARES, Wisconsin’s public assistance information system, and from KIDS, the child support information system. All cases that participated in Wisconsin Shares between March 2000 and the end of 2005 were selected from CARES. A total of 130,110 cases had an eligibility determination during this time period. Wisconsin Shares applicants have an eligibility determination at initial entry and then again every six months. Participants are also required to update their income information any time it changes, so the interval between eligibility determinations could be less than six months.