Report Roundup: Child Care Patterns of School-Age Children with Employed Mothers

October 1, 2000

Jeffrey Capizzano, The Urban Institute

Kathryn Tout, Child Trends

Gina Adams, The Urban Institute

Twenty-one percent of the approximately 20 million six- to 12-year-olds with employed mothers in the United States are regularly without adult supervision when not at school, according to this new report. Part of Assessing the New Federalism, an Urban Institute program designed to assess the devolution of social programs from the federal to the state and local levels, this is on in a series of occasional papers analyzing surveys and databases. The study looks at the different kinds of child care arrangements, including unsupervised “self care,” that working mothers use for their school-age children. Jeffery Capizzan and Gina Adams are research associates at The Urban Institute’s Population Studies Center, and Kathryn Tout focuses her research at Child Trends on the role of child care and welfare policies in the development of young children.

Using data from the 1997 National Survey of America’s Families (NSAF), a 44,000-household survey, the report investigates the out-of-school child care patterns of children with employed mothers. The greatest incidences of self care, the report finds, are among 10- to 12-year-olds – particularly those in higher-income families, in families with mothers who work traditional hours and white families. The report concludes that although most six- to 12-year-olds are supervised during out-of-school hours, policymakers need to examine why many are not, with particular attention to the cost and availability of other child care options. 53 pages. Free. Bonnie Nowak, The Urban Institute, 2100 M St., NW, Washington DC 20037, (202) 261-5410.

"Child Care Patterns of School-Age Children with Employed Mothers." Report Roundup. Youth Today, October 2000, p. 44.

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