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Report Number P20-298
Component ID: #ti1896962037

More mothers of young children work outside the home today than ever before. In fact, a third of women with a child under 6 years old are in the labor force as are one-half of mothers of children 6 to 17 years old.1 The high level of labor force participation of mothers of young children suggests that many young children may need care by someone other than the child's own mother or father. This report presents data on the arrangements made for the daytime care of children 3 to 13 years old for women in and out of the labor force for both full- and part-time workers. These data are presented by the age, race, and school enrollment of the child, the martial status of the mother and family income.  Detailed statistical tables follow the text of this report.

This report is based on data collected in the October 1974 and February 1975 Current Population Surveys. The October 1974 survey obtained information on care arrangements for children 7 to 13 years old, and the February 1975 survey included questions for children 3 to 6 years old. The wording of the questions for the two surveys is shown in the section of this report on definitions and explanations. The response categories for older and younger children were slightly different, but in both surveys the respondent was asked about arrangements made for the daytime care of the child when the child was not in school. For almost all children in the compulsory school attendance years, arrangements for daytime care would refer to arrangements made after school; whereas arrangements for younger children are made for a larger part of the day.

The survey results show that of the approximately 41 million children 3 to 13 years old in the United States, about 33 million, or eight out of ten, are usually cared for by one of the parents while the children are not in school (table A). For the additional 8 million children, some other arrangement is made for their daytime care. The most common arrangement is care in the child's own home by a relative; about 2.1 million children between the ages of 3 and 13 are cared for in this way. An additional 1.8 million, almost all of whom are 7 to 13 years old, care for themselves. Fairly small proportions are taken outside their home for care, either to the home of a relative, to the home of someone who is unrelated to them (about 1.2 million to each) or to a day care center (326,000). Thus, the use of a day care center is the least often reported child care arrangement in the United States.

1 U.S. Department of Labor, Special Labor Force Report, No. 173, "Marital and Family Characteristics of the Labor Force, March 1974," table 2, p. 62, and table F, p. A-17.

Component ID: #ti702095047

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

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