Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Static or Dynamic?: Identifying Longitudinal Patterns of Nonparental Child Care Participation during Nonstandard Hours Using the ECLS-B

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 10:35 AM
Merrick II (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Casey H. Boyd-Swan, Kent State University
Over the last three decades there has been a rise in the number of workers employed during nonstandard (evening and overnight) hours; accompanying this trend has been a renewed interest in documenting the well-being of workers and their families. However, no work has adopted a longitudinal approach to identify how parents who work nonstandard hours use nonstandard child care, how participation in nonstandard hours of nonparental child care (nonstandard child care) shifts as children age, or how various patterns of nonstandard child care participation influence child well-being. That is the aim of this paper.

Using panel data from the Birth cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-B), this paper examines how children participate in nonstandard child care from birth through kindergarten entry. The exploration of longitudinal nonstandard child care participation includes (1) identifying common patterns and durations of participation and (2) employing time-to-event analysis to isolate child and parent characteristics associated with protracted spells of participation. Findings suggest that the most common age of entry into nonstandard child care is at 9 months and least common is 3 years. Half of all participants are in care for 1 spell; approximately one-third have volatility in participation. Children who reside with older, married, high-skilled parents are the least likely to participate in nonstandard child care from 9 months of age until kindergarten entry.

This study additionally examines the relationship between participation in nonstandard child care and various measures of child well-being reported in the ECLS-B. Preliminary estimates indicate that participation in nonstandard child care for 3 spells or more is associated with lower reading and math scale scores measured at kindergarten entry, higher BMI placement, higher probability of receiving special education services in school or child care settings, decreased kindergarten readiness scale scores, and decreased social competencies.

Findings from this study have important policy implications for nonstandard child care providers and organizations that employ workers during nonstandard hours. Policy implications are compounded by the growing number of parents working nonstandard hours following the Great Recession.