For families, child care arrangements are not one-size-fits-all. Parents make child care decisions as one piece of a complex puzzle of work and family life. Constrained family finances, inflexible work schedules, and limited availability of suitable options make choices challenging for many families. But just as important are parents’ preferences, values, and worries about choosing a caregiver for their young child. Acknowledging the difficulties families face and recognizing the importance of the choice, several programs and policies aim to help parents, including child care resource and referral (CCR&R) and quality rating and improvement (QRIS) services.
How do parents make child care decisions? How can programs, providers, and policymakers work with families to help them make the best possible choice for their child and family? Recent research is helping to shed light on this complex, dynamic decision-making process and better understand variations between families in different circumstances.
Source: Child Trends