Affordability is one of the critical barriers to accessing early care and education (ECE) for many parents and guardians of young children. Another is finding ECE for the days and hours needed. This is particularly true for the many parents and guardians who do not work during "standard" work hours--i.e., 8am to 6pm, Monday through Friday--but who work evenings, overnight shifts, on the weekends, or have varying work schedules that change from week to week or month to month. This fact sheet uses data from the newly available National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) to describe the flexibility of available ECE in the U.S. Specifically, we provide nationally representative estimates of the percentage of ECE providers serving young children (aged birth through 5 years) who offer services during non-standard hours as well as those who permit parents flexibility in scheduling and in payment for services. Estimates are presented separately for center-based providers as well as three types of home-based providers: 'listed' providers who appear in official state and national lists of ECE services; 'unlisted, paid' providers who are not on official lists but receive payment for caring for children; and 'unlisted, unpaid' providers who are not on official lists and do not receive payment for the care they provide. (author abstract)
Provision of early care and education during non-standard hours
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