NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Public Agenda on Child Care Surveys

May 30, 2003

What do parents and the general public think about child care? Recent surveys show that parents support many governmental measures to improve the quality and availability of child care, but that may not be the green light it appears to be, according to Public Agenda Online.

For example, according to surveys:

  • Measures that a majority of parents say would improve child care include bigger tax breaks for stay-at-home parents (64 percent), paid parental leave (61 percent), and tighter regulation of day care centers (54 percent).
  • But 62 percent say they would prefer proposals that would make it easier for one parent to stay at home with young children.
  • Both parents (70 percent) and the general public (75 percent) say having one parent at home is the best child care arrangement.
  • Parents and the general public (60 percent of both groups) say that families should take primary responsibility for finding child care, rather than the government or employers.
  • Most parents, including those using a professional day care center, say they are satisfied with their current child care arrangement -- 83 percent are very satisfied.

Finally, parents who use child care say the hardest part of finding good day care was trust (54 percent), rather than cost (14 percent) or convenience (11 percent).

Source: "Red Flags on Child Care: How Much Government Support?" Public Agenda Alert, May 29, 2003, Public Agenda Online.


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