This fact sheet reports preliminary findings from the newly available National Survey on Early Care and Education (NSECE) Household Survey to provide insight into how parents perceive the early care and education (ECE) arrangements available to them, how and why they search for care, and when searches result in a change in arrangement. Each household rated three types of care—center-based, relative or friend care, and family day care. Households with children under age 60 months rated relative or friend care most highly in terms of a nurturing environment, affordability, and flexibility for parents. They were most likely to rate center-based care high in educational preparedness. Additional findings indicate: 51% of parents searching for care for an infant or toddler indicated that a change in their work was the primary reason for initiating a search, compared to 28% of those with preschool-age children; 37% of households that searched for ECE considered only one provider in their search; and 58% of the searches reported did lead to a new ECE arrangement for the child. 6 figures and 1 reference.
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