children playing

What happens when the school year is over?: The use and costs of child care for school-age children during the summer months

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Assessing the New Federalism Project
Capizzano, Jeffrey; Adelman, Sarah & Stagner, Matthew
Publication Date: 
3 Jun 2002

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpt from introduction: Understanding these summer child care patterns is critical, because the types of care used during the summer and the costs of child care can affect the well-being of children and families. The child care arrangements parents use during the summer can keep their children safe and support their social and academic well-being, or they can put children at risk of physical or emotional harm. From the parents' perspective, the need for additional child care caused by the end of the school year can create stress in trying to find new child care arrangements and can potentially affect employment patterns and how much families spend on care. Therefore, it is important for policymakers and researchers concerned about family employment patterns and child development to gain a better understanding of summer child care patterns. This paper provides one of the first systematic examinations of child care patterns among 6- to 12-year-old children during the summer months. Using the 1999 National Survey of America's Families, the paper analyzes two key aspects of summer child care: the types of arrangements used for school-age children while their primary caretaker is working and the amount families with school-age children spend on child care. Where possible, we look at these aspects of child care separately for children of different ages and for children from families with different incomes.