This project looks at two national datasets to explore the relations among child, family, employment, and program characteristics and parental choice.
This project uses secondary analyses of existing data from two national datasets—the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)—to explore the relations among child, family, employment, and program characteristics and parental choice. The project examines five research questions: 1) What are the most common eco-cultural profiles of parental preferences, attitudes towards maternal employment, and beliefs about raising children; 2) Are parents in specific “ecological niches” more likely to hold these profiles? That is, do race, ethnicity, language, parent education, single-parent/two-parent family, or employment history predict membership in specific preference profiles?; 3) What is the relation between parental preference profiles and child care utilization patterns (type of care, hours of care, and quality of care used)?; 4) How do opportunities and constraints shape child care utilization patterns, given parental preferences, attitudes, and beliefs?; 5) Do the relations among parental preferences, opportunities, constraints and child care utilization vary for specific subpopulations of: [a] low-income working families at risk of needing TANF benefits; [b] language, ethnic, and racial minority families and children; and [c] families with infants and toddlers?