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Parents with nontraditional work schedules in the District of Columbia: Implications for child care


The challenges Black and Latino families face, and larger concerns about structural inequities for communities of color, have only grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, many parents have struggled to balance the need to work with protecting their children’s health and safety, all while child care programs have closed or reduced services. Parents who are essential workers and those who cannot move to telecommuting (Adams 2020) face difficult tradeoffs. Further, these challenges disproportionately affect communities of color. Black and Latino parents are in a particularly challenging situation given the greater impact of the economic downturn on their employment and income, their disproportionate representation in some parts of the essential workforce, the fact that they were significantly less likely to move to telecommuting (Adams 2020), and the higher COVID-19 health risks they and their families face because of structural inequities in health care. A first step in working to address these inequities is to understand the extent of the problem. Specifically, it is important to know how many children have parents who work NTH schedules and how this varies across children and families with different characteristics. This brief—part of a larger series— provides this information for the District of Columbia and examines the extent to which District of Columbia children younger than age 6 with working parents had parents who worked NTH schedules. It first presents the information overall, describing variation across groups of children (including those in families with low incomes and children of color), and then explores variation for children with one or more parents working in essential industries. It then briefly explores the implications of these findings for child care and concludes with a brief discussion of some policy questions and issues that policymakers should consider. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Fact Sheets & Briefs
United States
District of Columbia

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