Brief What Child Care Providers Need to Know about Nontraditional-Hour Child Care in Austin/Travis County, Texas
Supply and Demand, Challenges, and Considerations
Cary Lou, Eve Mefferd, Dawn Dow, Diane Schilder, Peter Willenborg, Justin B. Doromal
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This brief presents findings that are most relevant to child care providers from a study of nontraditional-hour child care in Austin/Travis County. Findings are based on analyses of data from the American Community Survey, the Survey of Income and Program Participation, Texas Workforce Commission administrative data, and analyses of data collected through interview and focus groups with Austin/Travis County community leaders, employers, child care providers, and parents.

Key findings:

  • About 44 percent of young children with parents working during nontraditional hours (or 7,910 children) in Travis County potentially need care in the early morning (6:00–6:59 a.m.) on weekdays. A similar number of children have potential need for care at some point during the weekend.
  • Parents in Austin/Travis County told a team of Urban Institute researchers their greatest need for nontraditional-hour child care is in the hour before most licensed providers open and for an extra hour or two in the evening. Parents who use regulated care in centers or home-based settings during traditional hours (weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) told us they would prefer to use this type of care during these nontraditional-hour periods if their provider were open.
  • Parents in Austin/Travis County who work late in the evening, overnight, or very early in the morning told us they prefer to have their children cared for in their own home or in a relative’s home.
  • More than half of young children in income subsidy–eligible families had potential demand for nontraditional-hour care.
  • Demand for nontraditional-hour child care suggests that opportunities exist for child care providers to work with community partners to expand child care to meet parents’ needs.
Research Areas Children and youth Economic mobility and inequality Families Immigration Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Nonprofits and philanthropy Race and equity Social safety net State and local finance
Tags Alternative or nonstandard work arrangements Assistance for women and children Black/African American communities Child care Child care and early childhood education Child care and workers Child care subsidies Children's budget Early childhood education Employer engagement Employment Employment and income data Immigrant access to the safety net Immigrant children, families, and communities Immigrant communities demographics and trends Immigrant communities and racial equity Immigrants and the economy Job markets and labor force Kids in context Labor force Latinx communities Families with low incomes Parenting
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
States Texas
Counties Travis County
Cities Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX
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