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


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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