More Fathers Staying at Home
Special Report - December 15, 2011
More fathers are staying home as the primary caregivers for their children, according to findings from the United States Census Bureau. The newly released report, entitled, Who’s Minding the Kids? found that in 2010, approximately 32 percent of fathers were a “regular source of care for their children under the age of 15, up from 26 percent in 2002.”
The report also shows that families with working mothers are very dependent on family members in securing childcare. For example, in 2010, 30 percent of preschoolers were cared for by their grandparents, 29 percent were cared for by their fathers, and 12 percent were cared for by a sibling or other relative.
In the spring of 2010, when the data was collected, there were approximately 21 million working mothers. Of those, the study found that “one-third reported they paid for childcare for at least one of their children.” Among the study’s other findings:
- Middle school aged children were more likely to care for themselves, with 10 percent of children ages five to 11, and 30 percent of children aged 12-14 caring for themselves.
- Families with working mothers (with children under the age of 15) spent an “average of $138 per week for childcare for at least one of their children.”
According to Lynda Laughlin, Census Bureau family demographer, the recent recession and sluggish economy played a factor in the increasing trend of fathers caring for their children. She noted in a press release that the recession “can trigger unemployment or changes in work hours, thus increasing the availability of fathers to provide childcare. It also can reduce available income to pay for childcare outside of the home.” Indeed, the report generally found that “as married women have increasingly moved into the labor force, fathers have become more available for childcare while their wives are working.”
Squeezing Families - FNC - Fall 2010
U.S. Census Bureau Releases First Analysis of Sat-at-Home Parents - December 6, 2004
America’s Child Care Crisis - Policy Papers - November 2000
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