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Initial Results From the 2005 NHES Early Childhood Program Participation Survey

NCES 2006-075
May 2006

Characteristics of Child Care Arrangements

To ascertain particular aspects of children's care arrangements, parents whose children were in any nonparental care arrangement were asked the following: how many children were cared for together in the same group at the same time and how many adults cared for the child in a particular care arrangement, how they learned about a particular care arrangement, and whether their arrangement included care for a sick child when he or she had a fever or did not have a fever. For children who were reported to be in a weekly center-based arrangement, parents were asked where the program was located and whether that program provided any of the following services: hearing, speech, or vision testing; physical examinations; or formal testing for developmental or learning problems.

  • Children who were in center-based care experienced a higher mean child-to-care provider ratio (6.0) than children in relative care (1.6) or nonrelative care (3.1) (table 10).
  • Among children with nonparental care arrangements, more children had parents who learned about their child's care provider from friends (54 percent) than from any other source, including their place of employment (5 percent), a public or private school (6 percent), a place of worship (6 percent), ads (8 percent), someone they knew (8 percent), an arrangement attended by another child in the household (6 percent), bulletin boards/flyers/drove by/walked by (7 percent), or any other sources (17 percent) (table 11).
  • Children with center-based care arrangements who were sick were less likely to receive child care from their providers during an illness (29 percent without a fever and 6 percent with a fever) than children with relative care arrangements (91 percent without a fever and 75 percent with a fever) or nonrelative care arrangements (83 percent and 39 percent with a fever) (table 12).
  • Among children who attended center-based care on a weekly basis, those in Head Start or Early Head Start programs were more likely to have received hearing, speech, or vision testing from their center-based program than children in other kinds of programs (72 percent compared to 31 percent) (table 13). Similar differences were found for center-provided physical examinations (36 percent compared to 6 percent, and formal testing for developmental or learning problems (74 percent compared to 28 percent) (table 13).
  • Children were more likely to attend a center-based care arrangement that was located in a building of its own (38 percent) than a center-based care arrangement found in any other location, including in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship (25 percent), a public school (17 percent), a private school (9 percent), community center (3 percent), or any other location (10 percent) (table 14).