Subject: Studies in the News 03-38 (June 12, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material ECONOMY
    Cost of raising children
    After-school programs and educational success
    Wages and quality in early education
    Young children, neglect and school readiness
    Families and Head Start
    Failure of medical child support
    SCHIP premium assistance programs
    Understanding SCHIP retention
    Effect of retiring dentists
    Family support strategies
    Decline of concentrated poverty
    Cutting supports for low-income families
    Health care access for children of farm workers
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Expenditures on Children by Families, 2002. By Mark Lino, U.S. Department of Agriculture. (The Department, Washington, DC) May 2003. 33 p.

Full Text at:

["Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the most recent estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families using data from the 1990-92 Consumer Expenditure Survey, updated to 2002 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. Data and methods used in calculating annual child-rearing expenses are described. Estimates are provided for major components of the budget by age of child, family income, and region of residence. For the overall United States, childrearing expense estimates ranged between $9,230 and $10,300 for a child in a two-child, married-couple family in the middle-income group. Results of this study should be of use in developing State child support guidelines and foster care payments as well as in family educational programs."]

[Request #S8394]

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Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success. By Beth M. Miller, National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College. (The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Quincy, Massachusetts) June 2003.

["This report synthesizes information available from existing studies of afterschool programs and offers conclusions based on the author's assessment. It pays special attention to the effects of afterschool programs on the academic achievement and overall development of middle school students. The central conclusion is that afterschool programs can, indeed, make a valuable contribution to how well children perform in school." Promising Practices in Afterschool (PPAS) Listserv (June 5, 2003).]

Fact Sheet. 3 p.:

Executive Summary. 28 p.:

Full Report. 126 p.:

[Request #S8395]

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Low Wages = Low Quality: Solving the Real Preschool Teacher Crisis. [Issue Theme.] By Steven Barnett, National Institute for Early Childhood Research and Rutgers University. Preschool Policy Matters. Issue 3. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief takes a look at just how low preschool teachers' and child care workers' salaries are and provides evidence of the effects of poor pay and employee benefits on teacher morale, turnover rates, and ultimately on educational quality. Current strategies designed to address the problems of poor compensation are presented, as are policy recommendations to help promote the compensation increases necessary to ensure high-quality preschool programs for our children."]

[Request #S8396]

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Leaving Too Many Children Behind: A Demographer’s View on the Neglect of America’s Youngest Children. By Harold L. Hodgkinson. (The Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, DC) April 2003. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["This report warns that many children will be left behind if more attention is not paid to these crucial developmental years. The author argues that key assumptions driving school reform and accountability testing do not fairly and adequately deal with the effects that poverty, low parent education levels, child abuse, neglect, and other factors, including race, are likely to have on a child's chances before they start first grade. He identifies proven and/or promising strategies (e.g. Head Start), and offers several recommendations, including the need for a national Governors' Summit, to address this major issue." The National Association for the Education of Young Children, NAEYC Listserv (May 9, 2003).]

[Request #S8397]

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Family Support and Parent Involvement in Head Start: What Do Head Start Program Performance Standards Require? By Rachel Schumacher, Center for Law and Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) May 22, 2003. 3 p.

Full Text at:

["Head Start programs must adhere to a set of performance standards regarding what services are to be provided, including health, parental involvement, nutritional, social, and transition to school. This paper describes specific requirements in Head Start Program Performance Standards to involve parents in programs and to provide or link families to support services."]

[Request #S8398]

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Failure to Thrive: The Continuing Poor Health of Medical Child Support. By Paula Roberts, Center for Law and Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) June 2003. 21 p.

Full Text at:

["This study claims that there is a good deal that could be done to significantly reduce the number of child support-eligible children who are without health care coverage. Some of these children could be enrolled in private coverage, while others are eligible for public coverage through Medicaid or SCHIP. There are both good ideas and proven strategies for enrolling more of these children. However, there remain substantial barriers in federal law, regulations, and policies that actively discourage states from moving aggressively in this area. Both Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services need to do more to remove these barriers so that fewer children will be uninsured."]

[Request #S8399]

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Premium Assistance Programs under SCHIP: Not for the Faint of Heart? By Amy Westpfahl Lutzky and Ian Hill, Health Policy Center, Urban Institute. Occasional Paper No. 65. (The Institute, Washington, DC) May 2003. 29 p.

Full Text at:

["Few states have implemented premium assistance programs under SCHIP. This study of Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Wisconsin examines the development and implementation of premium assistance programs under SCHIP. Findings suggest several limitations and challenges."]

[Request #S8400]

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Is There a Hole in the Bucket? Understanding SCHIP Retention. By Ian Hill and Amy Westpfahl Lutzky, Health Policy Center, Urban Institute. Occasional Paper No. 67. (The Institute, Washington, DC) May 2003. 23 p.

Full Text at:

["This report analyzes data that was collected concerning the redetermination process for SCHIP. The goal of the report was to find how 'various policy strategies have affected rates of retention, approval, and denial of coverage' for targeted states. Procedures for redetermination efforts, strengths and weaknesses of state systems, and the rates of approvals and denials of applications were examined." CDF Child Health Information Project (June 6, 2003).]

[Request #S8401]

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The Effect of Retiring Dentists. By Tara Straw, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 11, No. 30. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June/July 2003. 2 p.

["The number of dentists in every state will severely decline in the next two decades because most are near retirement and too few are entering the profession. [Includes] Percent of Dentists Within Age Bracket, 1999 [By State].... The American Dental Education Association estimates that by 2014 the number of dentists retiring will exceed the number of new people entering the field."]

[Request #S8402]

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Family Support: Strategies to Strengthen Families. By Teresa Myers and Jody Ruskamp, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 11, No. 26. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) June/July 2003. 2 p.

["State legislators have adopted a variety of approaches to create and promote family support services.... Certain programs tend to work better, including those that use professional staff, deliver parent education and support through group meetings, and focus on families with specific problems rather than on all families in a given neighborhood."]

[Request #S8403]

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Stunning Progress, Hidden Problems. The Dramatic Decline of Concentrated Poverty in the 1990's. By Paul A. Jargowsky, Bruton Center for Development Studies, University of Texas at Dallas. (The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC) 2003. 24 p.

Full Text at:

["The number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods - where the poverty rate is 40 percent or higher - declined by a dramatic 24 percent, or 2.5 million people, in the 1990s....Concentrated poverty - the share of the poor living in high-poverty neighborhoods - declined among all racial and ethnic groups, especially African- Americans....The number of high-poverty neighborhoods declined in rural areas and central cities, but suburbs experienced almost no change."]

[Request #S8359]

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States are cutting TANF and Child Care Programs: Supports for Low-Income Working Families and Welfare-to-Work Programs Are Particularly Hard Hit. By Sharon Parrott and Nina Wu. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, DC) June 3, 2003. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["State cuts in childcare and other work supports for welfare-to-work and low-wage families are deep and broad, according to this review of state actions. The findings reinforce child advocates' concerns that if Congress approves a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization bill that imposes costly new mandates without adequate funds, states will be forced to cut programs that help low-wage families get and keep a job even further." Connect for Kids (June 9, 2003).]

[Request #S8404]

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[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]



"Crossing the Border for Health Care: Access and Primary Care Characteristics for Young Children of Latino Farm Workers Along the U.S.-Mexico Border." By M. Seid, and others. IN: Ambulatory Pediatrics, vol. 3, no. 3. (May-June 2003) pp. 121-130.

["The study described in this article examined use of care in Mexico, access to care, and primary care characteristics for young children of Latino farm workers in two counties on the U.S.-Mexico border. The authors found that: nearly 75% of the families had annual incomes of $20,000 or less; less than half (47.8%) of care was received in the United States; families in which at least one member traveled to follow work received a lower percentage of care in the United States, as did families with an income of more than $20,000 per year; children with health insurance were more than 2.5 times as likely to have a regular source of care, compared to those without insurance; uninsured children who received most of their care in Mexico were less likely than uninsured children who received most of their health care in the United States to have had a routine health care visit; and, uninsured children who received most of their care in the United States scored lower on measures of parents' perceptions of primary care quality than did uninsured children receiving most of their care in Mexico or than insured children receiving most of their care in either the United States or Mexico. The authors conclude that 'researchers, providers, and policy makers must better understand what care characteristics consumers seek in order to modify the health care system to provide care responsive to those needs.'" National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, Georgetown University, MCH Alert (June 6, 2003).]

[Request #S8405]

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