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- How many children in center-based care and home-based care were publicly funded?
- How does household poverty level affect how many children in home-based and center-based care are publicly funded?
- How does parental employment affect how many children in home-based and center-based care are publicly funded?
In the U.S. in 2012, public funding of early care and education (ECE) could come from a variety of programs and levels of government (federal, state, local). This analysis of data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education uses household reports to estimate percentages of children under 5 years who enrolled in 2012 in two types of publicly funded ECE: center-based and paid home-based care. Data for this analysis come from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education, which includes nationally representative data on households with young children.
Using household reports allows us to document income and age-related differences in children’s participation in publicly funded and non-publicly funded care, as well as differences by parental employment status.
Key Findings and Highlights
- In 2012, fourteen percent of children under 3 years of age were in center-based care, and among these, fewer than 1 in 4 were publicly funded (3 percent of all children 35 months or less). Participation in center-based care was three times as common for children 36 through 59 months (44 percent), with 3 in 10 of these publicly funded (14 percent of all children under 5 years). Public funding was much more common among children in lower-income households than those in higher-income households.
- Less than 20 percent of children were in paid home-based care, with fewer than 1 in 10 of these in publicly funded care. Even so, we see that children in lower-income households were more likely to participate in publicly funded home-based care than children in higher-income households.
- Children 5 years of age were more likely to participate in center-based or paid home-based care if all parents in the household were employed. As a result, public funding generally supported ECE for children in households where all parents were employed. Public funding did support ECE for children in households with one or more parents who were not employed in the case of children 36 to 59 months enrolled in center-based care.
Data for this analysis come from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), which includes nationally representative data on households with young children and providers caring for young children. The NSECE is a set of four integrated, nationally representative surveys conducted in 2012, designed to describe the supply of and demand for early care and education in the United States. For this analysis, data come from the household survey.
Datta, A. Rupa and Joshua Borton (2020) How Much of Children’s Early Care and Education Participation in 2012 Was Publicly Funded? OPRE Report #2020-69, Washington DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- early care and education