Parent Perspectives

slide-3Child Care Aware® of America has conducted several national parent polls and focus groups throughout the country to better understand what parents look for in child care, the assumptions they make about licensed care, the choices they have in their community, and policies they would support to strengthen the quality of child care.

More than any other aspect of child care, parents are concerned about its quality. Parents want their children to be safe. They want their children to be learning. Affordability or cost was the next biggest concern.

The majority of parents logically assume that standards are in place in child care programs to ensure that children are safe. Parents overwhelmingly think that caregivers are trained in child development and safety and undergo a background check, and that child care programs are inspected. This is simply not true in too many states.

Parent Brief: Summary of Parent Expectations on Child Care Health & Safety (2011)

Considering the importance of child care in the safety and early development of children (and also as a work support for parents), the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, now Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), has conducted several national surveys of parents to have a better understanding of what parents look for in child care; what they think about child care; and what is most important to them about child care. The findings related to health and safety (and the quality of child care) listed below are from NACCRRA’s (CCAoA’s) most recent parent poll conducted in the summer of 2010, The Economy’s Impact on  Parents’ Choices and Perceptions about Child Care.

What Do Parents Think About Child Care? Findings from a series of focus groups (2007)

As more than six in 10 children are cared for regularly by someone other than their parents, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA/CCA) conducted a series of focus groups to better understand what parents look for when they select child care, the difficulties they experience, and compromises they make, and what in their minds constitutes quality care.

The Economy’s Impact on Parents’ Choices and Perceptions about Child Care (2010)

The Economy’s Impact on Parents’ Choices and Perceptions about Child Care presents information on a nationwide poll of 1,000 parents with children under age 12 and their child care choices and perspectives in the current economy. The report revealed that quality and cost remain the most important factors for parents when choosing child care. Seventy five percent of parents rate affordable child care as the most or one of the most important factors in helping working families and more than half of families (51 percent) with children under age 5 say the economy has affected their child care in some way. Moreover, parents’ logical assumptions about child care standards far exceed the reality of state child care policies.To learn more, download the following materials:

Parents’ Perceptions of Child Care in the United States: NACCRRA’s National Parent Poll (2009)

In November 2008, Child Care Aware® of America (then known as NACCRRA) conducted a nationwide poll of more than 1,000 parents with young children to better understand what they consider when they are looking for child care, what they expect and want from child care, and what barriers they face in obtaining high-quality child care.

Our new report reveals that, more than any other aspect of child care, parents are concerned about its quality. Parents want their children to be safe. They want their children to be learning. Affordability or cost was the next biggest concern.

Moreover, the majority of parents logically assume that standards are in place in child care programs to ensure that children are safe. Parents overwhelmingly think that caregivers are trained in child development and safety and undergo a background check, and that child care programs are inspected. This is simply not true in too many states.

Grandparents: A Critical Child Care Safety Net (2008)

NACCRRA’s (CCA’s) 2008 report compiles the results of a nationwide survey of grandparents about child care. The survey found that nearly 60 percent of grandparents are either providing care for their grandchildren or have in the past. Not only are they providing regular child care, but they are providing, back up care, sick care, before and after school care, as well as summer care.

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