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Digest of Education Statistics
2018 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 202.30a. Percentage distribution of children who were under 6 years old and not yet in kindergarten, by main reason household wanted a child care program, primary reason for difficulty finding child care, and selected child and family characteristics: 2016
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected child or family characteristic For children who had nonparental care in the past year,
main reason household wanted a care program
For children whose parent/guardian reported any difficulty finding care,
primary reason for the difficulty1 
Provide care when a parent was at work or school Prepare child for school Provide cultural or language learning Make time for running errands or relaxing Some other reason Cost Location Quality Lack of open slots for new children Needed a program for children with special needs Some other reason
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Total children under 6
        years old
59.7   (1.01) 31.4   (0.93) 3.2   (0.48) 2.0   (0.32) 3.7   (0.44) 31.5   (1.61) 9.3   (1.36) 22.1   (1.22) 27.3   (1.45) 2.4   (0.43) 7.4   (0.74)
Age                                                                  
Under 1 year old 83.7   (2.35) 7.3   (1.55)   (†) 2.4   (0.63) 5.8 ! (1.78) 30.8   (3.73) 5.8   (1.44) 19.6   (2.61) 36.0   (3.93)   (†) 7.6   (1.78)
1 to 2 years old 71.6   (1.55) 18.5   (1.42) 3.4   (0.58) 3.4   (0.67) 3.3   (0.61) 33.1   (2.12) 6.3   (0.90) 24.3   (1.89) 25.4   (1.95) 2.2 ! (0.78) 8.7   (1.49)
3 to 5 years old 41.5   (1.59) 50.5   (1.48) 4.0   (1.00) 0.8   (0.24) 3.2   (0.56) 30.5   (2.63) 13.2   (2.53) 21.2   (1.58) 25.4   (2.08) 3.5   (0.73) 6.2   (0.88)
                                                                   
Race/ethnicity                                                                  
White 63.4   (1.33) 29.6   (1.34) 1.9   (0.29) 2.5   (0.47) 2.5   (0.40) 27.6   (1.69) 7.2   (0.71) 26.6   (1.75) 29.6   (1.74) 1.6   (0.43) 7.4   (0.87)
Black 63.1   (3.06) 29.0   (2.58)   (†)   (†) 4.0 ! (1.51) 37.1   (4.82) 9.2   (2.36) 20.8   (3.64) 22.7   (4.36) 3.8 ! (1.68) 6.3 ! (2.21)
Hispanic 51.2   (2.25) 37.5   (2.12) 5.3 ! (1.89) 1.3 ! (0.55) 4.6   (0.95) 34.4   (3.56) 14.8 ! (5.23) 12.8   (1.83) 26.5   (3.58) 2.5 ! (0.78) 8.9   (1.82)
Asian/Pacific Islander 48.1   (5.15) 31.1   (4.89) 9.7   (1.85) 2.0 ! (0.79) 9.0 ! (4.42) 32.2   (5.25) 9.4 ! (3.29) 28.6   (4.97) 20.1   (3.83)   (†)   (†)
Asian 48.1   (5.20) 30.7   (4.96) 9.9   (1.89) 2.1 ! (0.80) 9.2 ! (4.51) 32.2   (5.25) 9.4 ! (3.29) 28.6   (4.97) 20.1   (3.83)   (†)   (†)
Pacific Islander   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)
Two or more races 62.3   (3.54) 29.4   (3.56) 3.2 ! (1.12)   (†)   (†) 37.3   (4.91) 4.8 ! (2.26) 16.6   (3.57) 30.5   (4.29) 4.8 ! (1.84) 5.9 ! (2.07)
                                                                   
Number of parents in the                                                                  
household2                                                                   
Two parents 59.0   (1.30) 31.8   (1.16) 3.8   (0.64) 2.4   (0.39) 3.0   (0.43) 30.3   (1.75) 8.8   (1.45) 24.0   (1.28) 27.9   (1.55) 2.1   (0.44) 7.0   (0.76)
One parent 62.2   (2.40) 30.1   (2.30) 1.5 ! (0.48) 0.7 ! (0.29) 5.5   (1.12) 35.0   (3.39) 9.1   (1.84) 16.8   (2.95) 26.7   (3.67) 3.6 ! (1.33) 9.0   (2.01)
                                                                   
Mother in household                                                                  
Yes 60.0   (1.04) 31.3   (0.96) 3.4   (0.50) 2.0   (0.32) 3.3   (0.45) 31.2   (1.70) 9.1   (1.43) 22.6   (1.26) 27.5   (1.53) 2.4   (0.46) 7.2   (0.72)
No 54.9   (3.71) 33.5   (3.50)   (†)   (†) 8.2 ! (2.52) 36.9   (6.62) 13.4 ! (5.66) 14.1   (4.00) 22.4   (4.94)   (†)   (†)
                                                                   
Mother's employment status3                                                                   
Currently employed 71.7   (1.05) 24.5   (1.01) 1.3   (0.25) 0.8   (0.20) 1.7   (0.35) 31.4   (1.90) 7.9   (0.88) 23.9   (1.25) 28.2   (1.71) 1.5   (0.34) 7.2   (0.86)
35 or more hours per week 76.0   (1.04) 21.1   (1.07) 1.2   (0.31) 0.6 ! (0.22) 1.1   (0.31) 28.9   (1.80) 8.5   (1.04) 25.1   (1.45) 28.6   (1.84) 1.5   (0.36) 7.3   (0.98)
Less than 35 hours per week 58.2   (2.42) 35.1   (2.59) 1.5 ! (0.46) 1.4 ! (0.47) 3.9   (1.02) 40.6   (4.72) 5.3   (1.28) 19.3   (2.84) 26.8   (4.29) 1.5 ! (0.70) 6.5   (1.38)
Looking for work 47.1   (5.83) 39.8   (6.33) 3.3 ! (1.56)   (†) 7.2 ! (2.83) 37.6   (8.63)   (†) 22.9 ! (10.16) 16.0 ! (5.47)   (†)   (†)
Not in labor force 28.4   (2.71) 49.5   (2.36) 9.0   (1.96) 5.5   (1.11) 7.6   (1.50) 31.1   (3.29) 14.4   (4.06) 16.7   (2.67) 26.0   (2.88) 5.0   (1.26) 6.7   (1.29)
                                                                   
Mother's highest education3                                                                   
Less than high school 41.7   (5.48) 39.6   (5.15)   (†)   (†) 7.8 ! (3.06) 33.6   (7.83) 29.2 ! (12.26) 12.5 ! (5.88) 19.8 ! (7.23)   (†)   (†)
High school/GED 54.2   (3.20) 36.9   (3.02) 2.9 ! (0.88) 1.5 ! (0.75) 4.5   (1.14) 39.0   (5.89) 12.3   (3.08) 15.9   (3.82) 25.0   (4.38) 4.1 ! (1.91) 3.7 ! (1.59)
Vocational/technical or
     some college
60.5   (2.26) 31.1   (2.03) 3.2   (0.74) 1.7   (0.46) 3.6   (0.80) 35.2   (3.35) 7.5   (1.40) 21.2   (3.00) 23.8   (3.70) 2.7 ! (0.99) 9.6   (2.13)
Associate's degree 62.2   (2.74) 31.2   (2.48) 4.3 ! (1.35) 1.2 ! (0.60) 1.1 ! (0.46) 36.4   (4.67) 11.2   (2.62) 21.2   (4.32) 17.3   (3.05) 5.3 ! (1.83) 8.6 ! (2.97)
Bachelor's degree 62.3   (1.60) 30.3   (1.54) 2.3   (0.45) 2.4   (0.60) 2.7   (0.62) 32.2   (2.34) 5.6   (0.88) 24.9   (2.19) 28.9   (2.33) 1.8 ! (0.61) 6.6   (1.06)
Graduate/professional degree 70.9   (1.51) 22.6   (1.40) 2.1   (0.52) 2.5   (0.63) 1.8   (0.43) 19.2   (1.87) 7.3   (1.42) 27.2   (2.15) 36.1   (2.18) 1.2 ! (0.48) 9.1   (1.30)
                                                                   
Language spoken most at home
   by mother3 
                                                                 
English 63.3   (1.07) 29.8   (0.99) 1.7   (0.29) 2.2   (0.38) 3.1   (0.41) 30.7   (1.66) 8.2   (0.80) 23.6   (1.41) 28.0   (1.61) 2.5   (0.44) 7.1   (0.73)
Non-English 39.4   (4.04) 39.5   (3.93) 13.3   (3.93)   (†) 6.4 ! (2.43) 34.5   (7.08) 19.9 ! (8.64) 15.9   (3.88) 21.3   (4.18)   (†) 5.4 ! (1.96)
English and another language
     equally
47.7   (4.55) 39.0   (4.93) 8.0   (2.07) 1.8 ! (0.76) 3.4 ! (1.49) 39.4   (5.68) 7.7 ! (3.12) 11.8 ! (3.57) 26.8   (5.40)   (†) 12.4 ! (4.72)
                                                                   
Mother's age when first became
   parent3 
                                                                 
Less than 18 54.2   (5.64) 37.2   (5.28)   (†)   (†)   (†) 19.7   (5.86) 17.9 ! (6.75) 18.9 ! (7.33) 21.6 ! (7.15)   (†) 18.1 ! (6.51)
18 or 19 57.6   (4.37) 29.6   (4.01)   (†)   (†) 4.9 ! (2.22) 41.3   (6.87)   (†) 19.0 ! (5.92) 14.6 ! (4.51) 3.7 ! (1.82) 6.1 ! (2.44)
20 or older 60.7   (1.06) 31.2   (1.00) 2.9   (0.37) 2.0   (0.29) 3.2   (0.40) 30.8   (1.73) 8.4   (0.80) 22.7   (1.01) 29.2   (1.56) 2.3   (0.46) 6.7   (0.65)
                                                                   
Household income                                                                  
$20,000 or less 46.6   (2.88) 42.8   (2.88) 4.3   (1.10) 1.6 ! (0.76) 4.6 ! (1.44) 28.0   (4.68) 18.0   (3.96) 20.3   (4.88) 21.4   (4.34) 4.4 ! (1.78) 8.0 ! (2.43)
$20,001 to $50,000 52.8   (2.51) 35.1   (2.29) 2.9   (0.61) 2.1 ! (0.72) 7.1   (1.52) 39.8   (4.02) 7.6   (1.81) 17.3   (2.50) 24.5   (3.49) 4.4 ! (1.41) 6.4   (1.64)
$50,001 to $75,000 63.2   (2.94) 25.5   (2.31) 5.7 ! (2.76) 2.4   (0.63) 3.1   (0.71) 35.2   (4.23) 13.6 ! (5.69) 20.5   (2.80) 22.6   (3.37) 1.6 ! (0.72) 6.4   (1.75)
$75,001 to $100,000 65.2   (2.49) 28.7   (2.56) 2.7   (0.75) 2.0 ! (0.87) 1.4 ! (0.55) 35.3   (4.23) 6.2   (1.20) 23.4   (2.99) 25.2   (3.73)   (†) 8.3   (1.89)
Over $100,000 66.5   (1.30) 27.8   (1.31) 2.0   (0.39) 1.9   (0.33) 1.8   (0.37) 23.6   (2.05) 6.1   (0.92) 26.6   (2.03) 34.8   (2.23) 1.0 ! (0.33) 8.0   (1.11)
                                                                   
Poverty status of household4                                                                   
Poor 47.0   (2.49) 39.2   (2.35) 3.7   (0.84) 2.8 ! (0.87) 7.3   (1.76) 29.7   (4.27) 15.8   (3.31) 18.1   (4.06) 26.2   (4.08) 3.7 ! (1.44) 6.6   (1.93)
Near-poor 52.8   (3.04) 34.5   (2.71) 5.2 ! (2.04) 1.5 ! (0.64) 6.0   (1.33) 39.9   (4.61) 10.2 ! (4.41) 17.8   (2.87) 18.2   (2.73) 4.8 ! (1.58) 9.0   (2.16)
Nonpoor 65.8   (1.18) 28.1   (1.13) 2.4   (0.40) 1.9   (0.30) 1.8   (0.25) 29.2   (1.65) 7.3   (0.78) 24.6   (1.29) 30.6   (1.66) 1.3   (0.29) 7.0   (0.81)
                                                                   
Household size                                                                  
2 or 3 persons 70.4   (1.33) 22.3   (1.23) 2.3   (0.43) 1.8 ! (0.57) 3.2   (0.67) 29.8   (2.08) 8.6   (1.45) 21.9   (1.86) 29.0   (2.34) 3.2   (0.91) 7.6   (1.22)
4 persons 59.5   (1.65) 32.8   (1.49) 3.6   (0.64) 1.8   (0.39) 2.3   (0.54) 29.4   (2.44) 8.4   (1.17) 24.9   (2.14) 29.0   (2.27) 1.8 ! (0.61) 6.6   (0.98)
5 persons 54.5   (2.41) 38.0   (2.41) 2.1 ! (0.68) 1.2 ! (0.47) 4.2   (0.94) 35.4   (4.56) 8.6   (1.72) 22.4   (2.82) 23.2   (3.19) 2.5 ! (0.83) 8.0   (1.94)
6 or more persons 49.0   (3.40) 35.0   (2.91) 5.5 ! (2.59) 3.8 ! (1.14) 6.7   (1.77) 35.7   (5.52)   (†) 15.6   (3.97) 24.3   (4.86) 2.5 ! (1.09) 8.3   (2.32)
                                                                   
Locale                                                                  
City 62.0   (1.69) 28.5   (1.56) 3.1   (0.48) 2.5   (0.57) 3.9   (0.89) 31.6   (2.47) 5.7   (1.10) 21.6   (2.30) 30.6   (2.44) 3.0   (0.85) 7.5   (1.27)
Suburban 57.6   (1.54) 33.5   (1.64) 4.1   (1.06) 1.7   (0.41) 3.1   (0.50) 34.5   (2.89) 9.5   (2.48) 23.5   (1.94) 23.7   (2.11) 2.4   (0.67) 6.4   (0.97)
Town 57.7   (3.68) 34.2   (3.63)   (†) 1.7 ! (0.64) 3.3 ! (1.55) 25.8   (5.01) 9.5   (2.82) 27.0   (4.93) 28.0   (4.75)   (†) 7.9 ! (3.09)
Rural 61.2   (2.60) 30.7   (2.66) 1.2 ! (0.46) 2.0 ! (0.75) 4.9   (1.16) 25.6   (3.05) 18.1   (2.82) 16.4   (2.43) 28.7   (3.14)   (†) 9.9   (2.24)
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Excludes children whose parent/guardian reported either "have not tried to find care" or "no difficulty" finding the type of child care or early childhood program wanted.
2 Excludes children living apart from their parents.
3 Excludes children living in households with no mother or female guardian present.
4 Poor children are those whose family incomes were below the Census Bureau's poverty threshold in the year prior to data collection; near-poor children are those whose family incomes ranged from the poverty threshold to 199 percent of the poverty threshold; and nonpoor children are those whose family incomes were at or above 200 percent of the poverty threshold. The poverty threshold is a dollar amount that varies depending on a family's size and composition and is updated annually to account for inflation. In 2015, for example, the poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $24,257. Survey respondents are asked to select the range within which their income falls, rather than giving the exact amount of their income; therefore, the measure of poverty status is an approximation.
NOTE: For the 2016 administration of the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), initial contact with all respondents was by mail, and the majority of respondents received paper-and-pencil questionnaires. However, as an experiment with web use, a small sample of NHES:2016 respondents received mailed invitations to complete the survey online. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Early Childhood Program Participation Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program (ECPP-NHES:2016). (This table was prepared November 2017.)

2018 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest