Child Care Decision-Making: The Role of Family Preferences in the Selection of Infant and Toddler Care
Wong, Rebecca Elaine Weng-Yan
Using data from the Early Childhood Program Participation module of the National Household Education Survey of 2005, this paper assesses the relationship between parents' child care preferences for their infants and toddlers and the primary non-parental care arrangements they actually selected. The marginal effects from the unordered multinomial probit models indicate that variation in parents' preferences for specific aspects of care are reflected in their choices among three types of care arrangements - relative, non-relative or center-based care. Specifically, arrangement choices were influenced by the level of importance that parents placed on the affordability of care, the provider's availability and accessibility, and care environment, net of demographic characteristics. These findings can contribute to development of family and work policies as well as the discussion related to the supply of high quality child care that meets the needs and preferences of families.
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