Even in the healthiest of families, the availability of child care, and the need to make backup child care arrangements in emergencies, can cause stress. Overall, parents of 59.3 percent of children aged 2 to 5 years reported that their child received some form of nonparental child care; of children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems, 62.5 percent received care. In addition, 9.8 percent of children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions did not receive child care that they needed, compared to 8.4 percent of children without these conditions (data not shown).
Parents of children aged 2-5 who received care from someone other than a parent were asked whether they had had to make different child care arrangements in the past month due to circumstances beyond their control and whether anyone in the family had had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of child care problems within the past year. Overall, the parents of 46.0 percent reported having to make last-minute child care arrangements in the past month, and the parents of 10.9 percent reported having to quit, not take, or change a job because of child care problems (data not shown).
Parents of children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions were especially likely to report child care problems. Of children aged 2-5 with one or two conditions, the parents of nearly half reported having to make alternative arrangements at least once, and of children with three or more conditions, the parents of more than half (52.0 percent) reported having this problem. The parents of nearly one-quarter (23.6 percent) of children with at least one condition had to quit a job, not take a job, or greatly change their job because of their child care difficulties (data not shown).