Families on TANF in South Carolina: Employment Assets and Liabilities. Number and Ages of Children

10/01/2004

The number and ages of the children in respondents’ households have important implications for the child care needs of TANF recipients in going to work, or to a job training or education program.
  • Almost one third of the survey respondents had three or more children in the home, and anotherthird had two children; more than three-quarters had pre-school children.
Most survey respondents (92%) had a child aged 12 or under. Seventy-seven percent had children under six, and 23% had children under one. Therefore, most respondents had a potential need for child care for their pre-school children in order to go to work or to participate in job training or education. Similarly, 43% of the respondents had children aged 6-12, with a probable need for before- and/or afterschool child care. Blacks had more children in the home than whites; 32% had three or more children, compared to 23% of whites.
  • Divorced and separated respondents were more likely to have older children, and less likely to have pre-school children.

Nearly 60% of divorced or separated respondents had pre-school children, and over 40% had children over 12, compared to never-married respondents, 84% of whom had pre-school children and 20% of whom had older children. Thus, never-married respondents have the greatest potential need for child care assistance. However, as noted above, many of the never-married respondents were living with other adults who might assist with informal child care.

 

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