Mary L. Heen


The welfare reform legislation signed into law last year repeals the entitlement to welfare and imposes strict time limits on the receipt of benefits. Although federal work requirements have been in effect for nearly thirty years, the new law requires the states to meet more stringent work participation levels and makes the work requirements applicable to mothers with younger children.The shift in the welfare paradigm toward mandatory wage work for mothers with young children has not been accompanied, however, by a corresponding policy shift toward universal or affordable child care.