Trends in the Use of Early Care and Education, 1995-2011: Descriptive Analysis of Child Care Arrangements from National Survey Data. Financing of ECE


In the CPS, parents report whether their children attend “public or private school.” In the NHES, parents report whether there is “any charge or fee for this [early care and education] program, paid either by you or some other person or agency.” Although “public” could be thought of as not having a charge or fee (as with Head Start and most state prekindergarten programs located at public schools) and “private” could be thought of as having a charge or fee, the two sets of terms do not always align. For example, local preschools may be “public,” but still require a small fee. Likewise, a private preschool may accept subsidy dollars or other sources of public funding, and some parents may have no or small out-of-pocket co-payments. Therefore, throughout the rest of this section, we preserve the use of “public” and “private” to describe findings from the CPS data and “with payment” and “without payment” to describe findings from the NHES data, recognizing that these terms refer to categories of care that overlap but are not identical.

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