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Initial Results From the 2005 NHES Early Childhood Program Participation Survey

NCES 2006-075
May 2006

Factors Used to Select Child Care Arrangement

For arrangements where the child spent the most time, parents were asked to rate how particular factors influenced their choice of a child care arrangement (1 = not at all important; 2 = a little important; 3 = somewhat important; and 4 = very important). The factors that parents were asked to rate were location, cost, reliability, learning activities, time spent with other children, availability of provider, and number of other children in the child care arrangement.

  • Among children who had some kind of weekly nonparental care, parents of children in weekly center-based care reported that spending time with other children was a very important factor when selecting a child care arrangement (82 percent) compared to parents with children in a weekly relative care arrangement (39 percent) or a weekly nonrelative care arrangement (53 percent) (table 15).
  • Among children less than 1 year of age who were in some kind of nonparental care arrangement, 65 percent had parents who rated learning activities as a "very important" factor when selecting the care arrangement. This percentage increased among older children-70 percent among parents of 1- to 2-year-olds, and 81 percent among parents of 3- to 5-year-olds (table 15).