crept upward from 15 to 21 percent of all infant and toddler care arrangements between 1977 and 1994 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1997). Fathers provided one in four of the first child care arrangements made for the infants in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1997b). While reliance on parent care is much more common among two-parent families in which only one parent works or both parents work part-time (44 percent of families with children under 3 and 30 percent of families with children ages 3 to 4), it is also surprisingly common among two-parent families in which both parents work full-time (16 percent of families with children under 3 and 12 percent of families with children ages 3 to 4) and in one-parent families that get by with parttime employment (26 percent of families with children under 3 and 7 percent of families with children ages 3 to 4) (see Figure 11-3). Clearly, a considerable number of parents are making the effort to care for their own children, usually at home, perhaps at considerable cost to their family incomes.

Once parents turn to others for assistance with child care, grandparents and other relatives are the caregivers for many families, including 27 percent of children under age 3 and 17 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds. Hispanic

FIGURE 11-3 Reliance on parent care by family structure and extent of employment, 1997. SOURCE: Unpublished tabulations from the 1997 National Survey of America's Families; generated for the committee by Gina Adams and Jennifer Ehrle, The Urban Institute.



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