What Child Care Arrangements Do Parents Want during Nontraditional Hours?

Currently, almost 5 million (or about one-third of) children younger than age 6 living in families with working parents have parents who work before 7:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays or on weekends. Further, children of color, children in families with low incomes, and children in single-parent families are disproportionately likely to have parents working these hours. However, very little is known about what child care arrangements these parents want during nontraditional hours or about the policy constraints and opportunities that may affect their ability to access the care they want.

This report presents findings from a mixed methods study of parents in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and Oklahoma that explores the following questions:

• What do we know about the potential demand for child care during nontraditional hours?
• What child care arrangements do parents of young children recommend and use for nontraditional hours?
• What role do children’s needs play in shaping parents’ recommendations for nontraditional hour child care?
• What other constraints and issues do parents report concerning nontraditional-hour child care?
• What are the implications of the answers to these questions for policy and practice?

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District of Columbia
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