Review Of America\u27s Child Care Problem: The Way Out By S. W. Helburn

Abstract

In an engaging work accessible to generalist readers but also of value to readers interested in policy analysis, economists Helburn and Bergmann review the weaknesses of the current system of child care financing and delivery in the US and, early on, propose solutions that emphasize the need to increase the affordability and quality of care. The balance of the book provides arguments and evidence in support of their proposed solution. The authors comprehensively review possible financing and delivery strategies, ranging from vouchers and tax credits to public provision, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The complexities of defining child care quality are considered, and the authors\u27 conclusions are used to assess the quality of care currently available. They find that the majority of children are in arrangements that do not meet their standard for good care. The authors then present features of the child care market that give rise to market failures and discuss the challenges of improving child care labor market conditions. In proposing strategies to improve the child care system overall, they emphasize the importance of increasing subsidies, expanding licensure requirements, and increasing the flow of information about child care to parents. Recommended for public, academic, lower-division undergraduate and up, and professional library collections

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