Gender disparities in academic achievement are of longstanding scholarly and societal concern. In the extensive literature on this topic, however, relatively few studies have considered the non-parental child care contexts where children spend their earliest years. This state of the evidence differs from disparities by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status, where differences in types of child care attended have been considered. The current study provides a national portrait of gender differences in the type of child care attended among preschool-aged children in the United States. Framed by the accommodation model, we found boys were more likely than girls to attend centers in higher socio-economic status families, but the reverse was true among less affluent families. Parents’ general perspectives that center-based or home-based child care was better for preschool-aged children’s development and safety also differed when the study child was a boy versus girl in these higher and lower socio-economic status families. Because preschool-aged children’s center-based child care attendance has been associated with academic school readiness, we encourage future studies to probe these findings as part of continued efforts to understand and address gender disparities in average levels of school progress and achievement. (author abstract)
Child care arrangements and gender: A national portrait of preschool-aged children
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