Why and how do low-income Hispanic families search for early care and education (ECE)?
Because the Hispanic population is growing rapidly and often faces considerable economic need--and because ECE can play an important role in reducing racial/ethnic disparities in early learning and later school outcomes--it is important for the research and policy community to better understand how and why low-income Hispanic parents search for ECE. This study takes a closer look at low-income Hispanic parents' reported reasons for conducting a search for an ECE provider or program for their young children. This brief uses data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) to describe why low-income Hispanic parents with young children (birth to age 5) report searching for child care; comparison data for low-income non-Hispanic black and white parents are also reported. Prior research involving low-income families from various racial/ethnic backgrounds showed that parents report a variety of reasons for their ECE searches. There are also several important barriers to low-income families' use of care, including lack of availability, low affordability, and poor alignment with parents' work schedules. Understanding similar or shared concerns about ECE across U.S. racial and ethnic groups--along with differences across these groups--can guide outreach by programs and inform policy adjustments that might better serve diverse groups. (author abstract)
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Center for Research on Hispanic Children & Families
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects