The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation 2005
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Safety of the Child in the Neighborhood  |  Child Care

Child Care

The availability of child care, and the ability to make backup child care arrangements in emergencies, is another important aspect of families’ comfort in their communities. Parents of children from birth to age 5 were asked about two common child care problems: how many times in the past month they had to make different child care arrangements due to circumstances beyond their control, and whether anyone in the family had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of child care problems within the past year. Overall, parents of approximately one-third of children reported that they had one or both of these types of child care issues. Problems with child care are slightly more likely in small rural areas (35.2 percent) than in large rural and urban areas (32.5 and 33.0 percent, respectively).

The parents of children in almost every racial and ethnic category more commonly reported child care problems in rural areas than urban areas. However, problems with child care among Black children were most common in urban areas: the parents of 39.6 percent of Black children in urban areas had problems with child care, compared to 35.1 percent in large rural and 31.7 percent in small rural areas. The parents of American Indian/Alaska Native children were the racial/ethnic group most likely to report child care problems, with over half in small rural areas reporting such issues. The parents of Hispanic children were least likely to report problems with child care, with rates ranging from 24.2 percent in large rural areas to 31.4 percent in small rural areas.

Graph: Percent of children aged 0-5 years whose families experienced child care problems, by location

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This chartbook is based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.