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


From 1995 to 2005, there was remarkably little change in the overall use of non-parental early care and education (ECE), but there was a significant shift in the types of care children attended: children’s enrollment in center-based ECE increased and enrollment in non-center care decreased. This shift occurred for all ages between birth and five years, but was most pronounced among children under age three. Additionally, among children ages three and four, the CPS data show that rates of enrollment in public preschool increased and private enrollment decreased from 1995 to 2011. Among children under three, however, the NHES data show that the rate of enrollment in centers with a family payment (i.e., private centers) increased while enrollment rates in centers without a family payment (i.e., public centers) did not change. Rates of participation in full-day and part-day ECE among three- and four-year-olds changed very little during this period.

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