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Low-income families' selection of child care for their young children

Author

Listed:
  • Tang, Sandra
  • Coley, Rebekah Levine
  • Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tang, Sandra & Coley, Rebekah Levine & Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth, 2012. "Low-income families' selection of child care for their young children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2002-2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:10:p:2002-2011
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.06.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rachel Gordon & P. Chase-Lansdale, 2001. "Availability of child care in the United States: A description and analysis of data sources," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(2), pages 299-316, May.
    2. Arleen Leibowitz & Linda Waite & Christina Witsberger, 1988. "Child care for preschoolers: Differences by child’s age," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(2), pages 205-220, May.
    3. Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
    4. William T. Gormley, Jr. & Ted Gayer, 2005. "Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    5. Sandra L. Hofferth & Douglas A. Wissoker, 1992. "Price, Quality, and Income in Child Care Choice," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 70-111.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnson, Anna D. & Padilla, Christina M. & Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth, 2017. "Predictors of public early care and education use among children of low-income immigrants," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 24-36.
    2. Ansari, Arya & Winsler, Adam, 2013. "Stability and sequence of center-based and family childcare: Links with low-income children's school readiness," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 358-366.

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