Office of the Assistance Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
This paper compares non-parental care arrangements of pre-school age children in urban and rural areas of the United States using data from the 2005 National Household Education Survey (NHES), Early Childhood Program Participation Survey (ECPP). Data from the NHES show that among preschool-age children, those in rural areas are about as likely as those in urban areas to receive care from someone other than their parents on a weekly basis. The NHES data also show that when rural children participate in non-parental care they are more likely than urban children to receive this care from relatives and are less likely to receive care in center programs. Additionally, rural children are in families that, on average, made fewer out-of-pocket contributions toward the cost of their care. However, it is difficult to interpret these differences since the cost of living in these areas may differ.