In ever-increasing numbers, women with young children are joining the labor force. Fifty-eight percent of mothers with children under one year of age are either working or looking for work, and 64 percent of mothers with preschoolers are currently employed. Over three-fourths of mothers with school-age children work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1999).
High-quality child care is associated with children’s development of good work habits, peer relations, and emotional adjustment (Kaplan, 1998). Poor-quality care, on the other hand, has been linked with delays in language and reading skills and increased aggression towards peers and adults (Frank Porter Graham, 1999).
Not surprisingly, finding appropriate child care is linked to success in moving off of welfare. Without access to reliable, quality child care services, parents are unable to secure jobs, retain them, and perform their duties responsibly.