Hispanic Children’s Participation in Early Care and Education: Parents’ Perceptions of Care Arrangements, and Relatives’ Availability to Provide Care

Publicly funded early care and education (ECE) programs are intended, in part, to prepare children for school and provide work support for parents. They play a critical role in closing racial/ethnic disparities in kindergarten readiness and educational success. Historically, Hispanic children have been less likely than their white and black peers to participate in ECE programs, particularly center-based programs. This brief, from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, examines parents’ perceptions of different types of child care arrangements and whether relatives (and other adults living with them) are available to provide care to those parents’ children. More specifically, using data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), it looks at how Hispanic parents’ (with children between zero and 5) perceptions of various types of early care arrangements—center-based, home-based, non-relative, and relative care—differ from those of their white and black counterparts. It also considers how the availability of relatives and other adults who might provide care for young children differs across Hispanic, black, and white households and by household poverty level.