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Substantial potential demand for nontraditional-hour child care in Maine

To estimate the potential demand for child care at nontraditional times–early morning, nights, and weekends–researchers at the Urban Institute compare the share of young children with parents working nontraditional schedules across states by using both the 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2016 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Authors also compared each state’s Child Care and Development Fund Plan for 2019-2021 and noted the actions each state planned to take to support nontraditional-hour child care. In Maine, more than one-third of children under age 6 in working families having parents who work nontraditional schedules (35 percent). Two-thirds of young children in working, single-parent families have a parent working nontraditional hours (68 percent). Among young children in low-income working families in Maine, 41 percent have parents who work nontraditional hours. In terms of supportive policies in the Child Care and Development Fund Plan, Maine does have a differential reimbursement rate for nontraditional-hour care but is not planning to use grants or contracts to increase the supply or quality of nontraditional-hour programs. Policies and planned actions varied across states, with some taking less action than Maine and others taking more.