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Journal Issue: Financing Child Care Volume 6 Number 2 Summer/Fall 1996

Child Care in the United States Today
Sandra L. Hofferth


This article describes the consumers and providers of child care in the United States. It uses data from nationally representative surveys and research studies conducted from the late 1960s through 1995 to examine the child care arrangements parents select for their young children, comparing today's arrangements with those made by parents decades ago. It then discusses the availability of child care, examining both the number of child care spaces available and whether quality programs are available to suit the needs and resources of parents. The article concludes with speculation about how proposed new policies and continuing trends may lead to future changes in child care.