Early Child Care and Program Participation
Parents of sampled children from birth through age 5 not yet enrolled in kindergarten were asked whether their child was currently participating in nonparental child care, including relative, nonrelative, and center-based care. They were also asked if their child was currently participating in Head Start or Early Head Start, and had one or multiple child care arrangements. For parents who stated that the child had a weekly relative care arrangement, the relationship of the relative to the sampled child was also collected (i.e., grandparent, aunt/uncle, sibling, or other relative).
- Approximately 60 percent of children were reported to be in at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement (table 1). Among these children, 60 percent were reported to be in center-based care, 35 percent in relative care, and 22 percent in nonrelative care arrangements.
- Children whose mothers did not complete high school were more likely to participate in Head Start or Early Head Start (table 2). The rate of participation among children whose mothers' educational level was less than a high school diploma was 29 percent, compared to 15 percent among children whose mothers had a high school diploma or GED, 7 percent among children whose mothers had some college or vocational/technical schooling, 3 percent among those whose mothers completed a bachelor's degree, and 2 percent among those whose mothers had some graduate education or had completed a graduate or professional degree (table 2).
- Participation in multiple nonparental care arrangements was higher among children in families in which both parents or the only parent spoke English (17 percent) than among children in families in which no parent spoke English (8 percent) (table 3).
- Among children who had a weekly relative care arrangement, 76 percent were cared for by grandparents, compared to 19 percent who were cared for by aunts and uncles and 13 percent whose care was provided by other relatives (table 4).