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Arizona parents struggling with child-care options

A research was conducted by a statewide team of researchers from the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University, in which they interviewed almost 1,400 parents with children from birth to 6 years old from all round Arizona.

The main purpose of this research was to know what important factors parents consider when they look for child care for their children and what are their demands.

In Arizona, the most comprehensive report on child-care demand is the Arizona Child Care Demand Study.

Douglas Taren, the lead researcher said that the findings are a valuable resource for child-care providers to determine what parents want when deciding who and where their children receive care.

Parents living in areas served by 17 regional councils who were from urban and rural areas, border counties and on Tribal Nations were included in the study and were interviewed. The results of the study showed that when parents look for child care, the factors they consider the most important are safety, security and homelike setting, with a caring and experienced provider.

A co-director of Arizona State University, Beth Blue Swadener, said that the majority of families use a patchwork of child care, often including two or more different care arrangements, with the exception being those who use full-time center-based care.

The findings of the study showed that most families use more than one source of child care due to family problems like having both parents doing the job. To afford child care, most parents reported making sacrifices because of the high costs of child care. Parents who are seen affected by the cost of child care are mostly divorced or separated. Many parents believe that it is more cost effective to have one parent stay home for the children.

According to Mary Jane McLellan from NAU, the results indicate that families often stay home and out of the workforce because the cost of care makes work impractical.

Some parents show their desire for child-care options which they can easily afford. A small number of parents reported receiving scholarships or DES-subsidized child care.

The demand for child care by parents was more among those having children 3 to 4 years of age, which was recorded at 70%. The demand for child care by parents having infants was the least at only 50%.

One other finding of the study was that parents need more public information to choose child care.

Taren said, “This study shows that what parents want in child care is consistent across the state with the most important issues of safety and affordability being the primary reason children do not participate in early childhood education programs. I believe this indicates that we need to provide more financial support for parents so their children can access early childhood education programs. This will have an immediate return on investment by allowing parents to participate more in the workforce and long term returns by having children become more ready to enter school”.

As a result of the Arizona Child Care Study, it was found that there is a need to increase public awareness of child care services available for parents who need it.

Author Bio:

Attorney Dale Naticchia is an Ohio Criminal Attorney, he has been practicing law in the Cleveland Ohio area for almost 25 years. The last 10 years have been devoted to defending drunk driving cases. Contact him and ask for a free DUI/OVI consultation

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