Child Care Decisions among Mothers in Los Angeles County
Laura Chyu, University of California, Los Angeles
Over the past few decades, one of the major social changes in the U.S. has been women's increased labor force participation. With the family traditionally defined as the primary institution for childrearing, child care is a major issue for working mothers who increasingly depend on nonparental child care. Using the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, we examine how neighborhood, familial, and individual characteristics affect regular use of child care, primary type of care used, hours of care used per week, and number of arrangements used among mothers of children ages 0-5 years in Los Angeles County. Maternal employment and marital/cohabiting status are the strongest predictors of regular use of care and hours of care used per week. Maternal nativity, education, and child's age are significant predictors for regular use of care. Differences in primary type of care were also observed for black and Asian/Pacific Islander mothers.