Low-income families' selection of child care for their young children
Conceptual models suggest that child, mother, family, and community factors are likely to affect families' choice of child care settings for their young children, yet little research has comprehensively tested such models among low-income families. This research assessed the type of early care experienced by low-income urban preschoolers (N=802) in the Three-City Study. Results revealed that in comparison to White mothers, Latina mothers were less likely to use Head Start or center-based care. In comparison to mothers who did not work, mothers who worked full-time, part-time, or who had regular work schedules had a higher likelihood of relying on non-maternal early care. Type of care used also varied by geographic location, suggesting that care availability and accessibility have primary roles in low-income families' care options. Future research and policy suggestions are discussed in light of these results.
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