FIGURE 11-1 Percent distribution of newborn to 4-year-old children in nonparental care on a regular basis, by age, 1999. SOURCE: Unpublished tabulations from the 1999 National Household Education Survey; generated for the committee by DeeAnn Brimhall, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.

child care, including 44 percent of infants under 1 year, 53 percent of 1-year-olds, and 57 percent of 2-year-olds (see Figure 11-1).

This is a dramatic change from the recent past. With it have come both growing acceptance of child care as supplementing rather than competing with parental care and persistent worries about the effects of child care on children's development. The dilemmas that today's parents are facing are not new, however. Decisions about the care and supervision of young children are among the oldest problems faced by human society (Lamb, 1999; Rossi, 1977). Over the history of family life and across cultures, mothers have had multiple duties that have necessitated sharing the handson care of their infants and toddlers with others, primarily other women relatives and older children (Lancaster and Lancaster, 1987; LeVine et al., 1994; Weisner and Gallimore, 1977).

What is new is the rapid growth in reliance on paid care by nonrelatives in center-based settings and the expansion in public subsidies for child care. While parents and relatives continue to provide vast amounts of early child care, rapid growth in reliance on center-based arrangements as the primary source of child care has occurred for children of all ages, accompanied by a decline in the use of home-based care by nonrelatives. The ramifications of welfare reform—the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996—for child care are also changing the



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