Child Care Decision-Making
01 Apr 2014
Child care plays an important role in supporting families, from children's development to parents' employment. The complex process by which families find child care arrangements is informed by their preferences for features of care arrangements and constrained by such factors as availability, accessibility, affordability, and awareness of supply. A recent comprehensive literature review and accompanying webinar discuss research on multiple dimensions of the child care decision-making process, structured within the framework of a child care decision-making conceptual model. This Topic of Interest
highlights that review, webinar, and conceptual model, as well as data sets, reports, journal articles, projects, and bibliographies from the Research Connections
Access the literature review, webinar, and conceptual model:
Patterns of Child Care Arrangements
Several large-scale nationally representative data sets, such as the National Household Education Survey (NHES), Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), and Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), include questions about parents' child care arrangements. Researchers have used these questions to explore parental child care preferences and other factors associated with various patterns of child care arrangements.
Explore data sets:
See reports and papers:Child Care Decisions Among Special Populations
The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation of the U.S. Administration for Children and Families has funded a number of research projects that examine aspects of the child care decision-making process among various populations, including immigrants, refugees, English language learners, and child care subsidy-eligible families.
Read project reports:Quality Rating and Improvement Systems
There are numerous ways that states can help parents when they are making decisions about child care. One important way is through a state child care quality rating system (QRIS). A QRIS aims to improve access to high-quality child care, in part through publicly-available ratings of program and provider quality that are intended to help guide parents' child care decisions. Several state QRIS evaluations examine parents' awareness and use of QRIS ratings in their decision-making.
Read evaluation briefs and reports:Additional Resources
Explore resources in the Research Connections
collection related to the topic, including a Key Topic Resource List
, as well as other recent additions
.Prepared by: Daniel FergusonLast updated: April 2014Printable version