Families with Hungry Children and the Transition from Preschool to Kindergarten

Irma Arteaga, University of Missouri, Columbia
Colleen M. Heflin, University of Missouri, Columbia
Sara Gable, University of Missouri, Columbia

The federal food and nutrition program consists of an array of programs that households may participate in based on the age of their children, household income, and where the child attends school or day-care. As a result, different households with similar income levels and numbers of children may receive substantially different bundles of food assistance. While variation may occur across the entire childhood period, there is a significant transition in the types of food and nutrition programs for which children qualify as they enter kindergarten. We explore how the transition in nutritional programs impacts child and household food insecurity as children turn age five and enter kindergarten. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Birth Cohort, we use regression discontinuity models to identify the impact of program transition on child and household food insecurity.

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Presented in Session 85: Food, Nutrition, and Child Well-Being