This brief uses new, nationally representative data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE)--funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services--to describe critical elements in the decision-making process of parents and other caregivers regarding the nonparental care of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The NSECE is comprised of four nationally representative surveys that were conducted in 2012. These coordinated surveys were designed to provide in-depth data on multiple dimensions of early care and education (ECE) in the United States, including the availability of ECE, preferences and needs for ECE and school-age care, the use of ECE and school-age care, and a description of the ECE workforce. One of the four surveys--the Household Survey--gathered data from households with young children, while the other three collected data from center-and home-based ECE providers. The NSECE oversampled from low-income areas because the experiences of low-income families are of critical public policy interest. This brief uses data from the Household Survey to provide insight into how parents perceive the ECE arrangements available to them, how and why they search for care, and when searches result in a change in arrangement. (author abstract)
Household search for and perceptions of early care and education: Initial findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE)
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