What are the most prevalent forms of early child care and education environments for children before they enter kindergarten?
In 2019, approximately 59 percent of children age 5 and younger and not enrolled in kindergarten were in at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement, as reported by their parents. Among children in a weekly nonparental care arrangement, 62 percent were attending a day care center, preschool, or prekindergarten (center-based care), 38 percent were cared for by a relative (relative care), and 20 percent were cared for in a private home by someone not related to them (nonrelative care).
|Percentage of children from birth through age 5 and not yet in kindergarten participating in various weekly nonparental care arrangements, by child and family characteristics: 2019|
|Characteristic||Weekly nonparental care arrangement||No weekly nonparental care arrangement|
|At least one weekly nonparental care arrangement||Type1|
|Relative care||Nonrelative care||Center-based care2|
|Less than one year||42||58||26||32||58|
|1 to 2 years||55||44||25||47||45|
|3 to 5 years||74||26||14||83||26|
|Asian or Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic||55||35||12||67||45|
|Other race, non-Hispanic3||59||32||23||62||41|
|Two parents or guardians||58||35||20||63||42|
|One parent or guardian||65||50||17||60||35|
|Highest education level of parents/guardians|
|Less than high school||43||49||18!||55||57|
|Vocational/technical or some college||56||43||17||58||44|
|Graduate or professional degree||75||29||23||70||25|
|$20,000 or less||51||43||17||64||49|
|$20,001 to $50,000||46||45||14||59||54|
|$50,001 to $75,000||55||46||22||50||45|
|$75,001 to $100,000||58||42||18||59||42|
|$100,001 or more||74||29||22||69||26|
! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent. 1 Among children with at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement. 2 Center-based arrangements include day care centers, Head Start programs, preschools, prekindergartens, and other early childhood programs. 3 “Other, non-Hispanic” includes American Indian/Alaska Native children who are not Hispanic and children who are Two or more races and not Hispanic. NOTE: Estimates represent about 12,594,000 children who have at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement. Children may have multiple weekly arrangements across the three types of care; therefore, a single child may be represented in multiple columns of this table. Among all children from birth through age 5 and not yet in kindergarten, 11 percent of children’s parents reported having more than one type of regularly scheduled weekly nonparental care arrangement. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
The mean length of time that children had been in their primary care arrangement was longest for children cared for by a relative (19 months) and shortest for children in a center-based care arrangement (14 months). The most common location for children’s primary center-based care arrangement was a building of its own (42 percent). Other reported locations were a church, synagogue, or other place of worship (20 percent); a public school (19 percent), and other locations (19 percent).
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Early Childhood Program Participation: 2019 (NCES 2020-075REV), Table 1.
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