Access to Child Care

Jan 01, 2019
  • Description

Access to quality childcare is critical during a child's earliest years. This period of rapid brain development can be capitalized upon by ensuring babies, toddlers, and preschoolers enjoy engaging and responsive care. Parents rely on access to quality care when they are unavailable, knowing their child is being well cared for during their time apart from each other. To better understand the current state of access to childcare in Mississippi, the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at Mississippi State University conducted a telephone survey from February 2018 through May 2018. The full population of Mississippi child care centers were invited to complete a telephone survey, with 1,533 child care centers contacted. Respondents included 781 child care centers, resulting in a response rate of 52%. Child Care Center respondents were asked questions related to the number and age distribution of children enrolled, the number of children on their waiting list, voucher use among their center's families, and the use of developmental screenings in their center. This brief presents the results of survey questions related to access and affordability of child care.