Packard Foundation Study Finds Need for Child Care Has Doubled in Last 30 Years

According to a report from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, there has been a dramatic shift in the number of families in need of child care since the 1970s. The report also found that in many cases, parents faced limited choices, high costs, and poor quality when searching for child-care choices.

The report, "The Future of Children: Caring for Infants and Toddlers," found that the number of mothers with children under the age of three in the workforce has almost doubled in the last 30 years — from 34 percent to 61 percent. In addition, nearly 5 million of those 11 million infants and toddlers spend at least 25 hours a week in the care of someone who is not their parent.

The report offers recommendations on what employers and policymakers can do to help parents and child care providers offer environments that will improve care for infants and toddlers. These recommendations include changing parental leave policies (most notably the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act), reforming welfare policies, expanding child care subsidy policies, and investments to improve child care quality.

To download a complete copy of the report (164 pages, PDF), visit:

"Packard Foundation Report On Care For Infants, Toddlers Shows Need For Improved Quality, Increased Access To Child Care" David and Lucile Packard Foundation Press Release 09/10/2001.