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Report Number P70-86
Kristin Smith
Component ID: #ti52204123

Introduction

Interest in child care issues has grown in the past decades as more women with children have entered the labor force and sought to balance both family and work. Changes in welfare laws have encouraged recipients, who are often unmarried mothers, to seek work. This report shows the number and characteristics of children in different child care arrangements. The data come from the fourth interview of the 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) panel conducted between April and July 1997 and refer to child care arrangements used in the month prior to the interview. These data continue a series that dates back to 1985. New information presented in this report shows the number of families that receive help in paying for child care.

The report contrasts child care arrangements for preschool- and grade-school-age children. These two age groups differ in their needs and activities. While the primary focus of child care for infants and preschoolers is on meeting their basic needs, for older children, structured enrichment activities and the incidence of children in self-care situations are of increased importance.

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