This paper was originally presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) Washington, D.C., March 1997.
The views expressed in this paper are solely attributable to the two authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the United States Bureau of the Census.
Census Bureau data have traditionally focused on national estimates of the numbers of children in organized child care facilities using various household surveys. In contrast, this paper presents data on the characteristics of child care businesses for individuals states from the Census of Service industries. Although primarily focusing on the most recent Census period, 1992, some historical data are shown for the censuses of 1977, 1982, and 1987.
Child care businesses are classified according to the Standard Industrial Code in effect during each census period. They are defined as establishments primarily engaged in the care of infants or children, or providing pre-kindergarten education, where medical care or delinquency correction is not a major element. These establishments do not include businesses providing babysitting services nor do they include Headstart centers operating in conjunction with elementary schools; these centers are classified under the principal types of services provided by these businesses (e.g., schools, hospitals).
Among the characteristics of the child care industry shown in this paper, are the number of child care businesses, their tax return status (whether subject to or exempt from federal income taxes), their annual payrolls, and their numbers of paid employees. In addition, examination of the number of centers that went out of business during the tax year relative to the number that filed taxes for that year provides an indication of the annual turnover of businesses in the child care industry.
The number of child care centers in business in 1992 and the size of their employee payroll are also used in conjunction with estimates of the number of preschool-age children of employed mothers in each state to provide demographic demand indices for child care services. The number of preschool-age children are derived form the Bureau's midyear population estimates in conjunction with labor force data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Relating these business indicators with demographic "demand" indices for child care can help demonstrate the potential unmet need for child care among the different states. In addition, estimates of the proportion of preschoolers reported to be in organized child care settings from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) are used to illustrate the relative children/child care employee ratios throughout the United States for this period.
Figure 1: Growth in the Child Care Industry, 1977 - 1992 (96k)
Figure 2: Paid Employees in the Child Care Industry, 1977 - 1992 (100k)
Figure 3: Annual Payroll Per Paid Employee, 1977 - 1992 (89k)
Figure 4: Number of Child Care Centers, 1992 (88k)
Figure 5: Percent Increase in Child Care Centers, 1987 - 1992 (91k)
Figure 6: Percent Increase in Paid Child Care Employees, 1987 - 1992 (113k)
Figure 7: Turnover Rate in Child Care Centers, 1992 (91k)
Figure 8: Percent of Child Care Centers Which Are Subject to Federal Income Tax, 1992 (101k)
Figure 9: Annual Payroll Per Employee, 1992 (107k)
Figure 10: Ratio of Number of Preschoolers of Employed Mothers to Number of Child Care Centers, 1992 (98k)
Figure 11: Ratio of Number of Preschoolers of Employed Mothers to Number of Child Care Employees, 1992 (106k)
Figure 12: Ratio of Number of Preschoolers Likely to be in Child Care Centers to Number of Child Care Centers by Division, 1992 (96k)
Figure 13: Ratio of Number of Preschoolers Likely to be in Child Care Centers to Number of Employees by Division, 1992 (118k)
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