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Facilitating parental work and school is the key driver of child care searches

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) contributes to understanding of child care demand by identifying why parents search for a new child care provider and describing the results of those searches. Using data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education Household Survey, the report shows that nearly half of parents of children under age six had searched for a provider in the prior two years, most often–two in three parents–seeking care so that parents could work or attend school. Another 30 percent identified supporting child development as the main driver of their search. Findings differed considerably by child age, with parents of children under three much more likely to cite facilitating parental work or school as their main search reason compared to parents of children age three to six (77 versus 19 percent). Parents from higher-income households were both more likely to search for care and more likely to enroll with a new provider compared to their peers from lower-income households. #childcare