About 60 percent of children, ages 0-5 and not yet in kindergarten, participate in nonparental care arrangements, according to a new report released today (March 28). The report also indicates that parents paid more for child care arrangements in 2012 than they did in 2001, even after adjusting for inflation.
The National Center for Education Statistics released The Years Before School: Children's Nonparental Care Arrangements From 2001 to 2012. This Statistics in Brief examines the nonparental care arrangements of children in the United States, from birth through age 5, who are not yet enrolled in kindergarten. The report describes children's relative, nonrelative, and center-based care arrangements and provides a discussion of overall trends regarding children's participation in types of nonparental care arrangements, the number of hours that children spend in their nonparental care arrangements each week, and the average out-of-pocket hourly expenses that households bear when caring for their young children.
Key findings include:
- Children's overall participation in nonparental care arrangements (60 percent) was statistically unchanged from 2001 to 2012;
- From 2001 to 2012, the percentage of children who participated only in relative care increased from 14 to 16 percent. Meanwhile, 12 percent of children participated in more than one type of care arrangement in 2012 (an increase from 10 percent in 2001);
- From 2001 to 2012, the number of hours that children spent per week in their primary care arrangement declined by 3 hours for relative care, 2 hours for nonrelative care, and 2 hours for center-based care; and
- After adjusting for inflation, out-of-pocket hourly expenses for care were higher in 2012 than they were in 2001 for children in relative ($4.18 vs. $2.66), nonrelative ($5.28 vs. $4.23), and center-based ($6.70 vs. $4.23) care arrangements in 2012 dollars.