Who Takes Care of the Kids, By Household Income

Childcare is expensive in the United States. So as you would expect, higher-income households tend to use non-parental childcare more, whereas lower-income households tend more towards only parental care. Here are the percentages, based on 2019 estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics.

PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN UNDER 5, NOT YET IN KINDERGARTEN

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

$20,000 OR LESS

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Parents or guardians can have use more than one type of non-parental care, so the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Relative

Non-relative

$20,001 TO $50,000

Lower-income households are more likely not to use outside childcare.

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Relative

Non-relative

$50,001 TO $75,000

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Relative

Non-relative

$75,001 TO $100,000

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Relative

Non-relative

Higher household income tends to mean more non-parental childcare.

$100,001 OR MORE

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Relative

Non-relative

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN UNDER 5, NOT YET IN KINDERGARTEN

SOURCE: NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS

PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN UNDER 5,

NOT YET IN KINDERGARTEN

0%

20%

40%

60%

$20k OR LESS

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Non-relative

Relative

$20k TO $50k

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Non-relative

Lower-income households are more likely not to use outside childcare.

Relative

$50k TO $75k

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Non-relative

Relative

$75k TO $100k

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Non-relative

Relative

Higher household income tends to mean more non-parental childcare.

$100k OR MORE

Only Parental Care

Non-Parental Care

Center-Based

Non-relative

Relative

0%

20%

40%

60%

PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN UNDER 5,

NOT YET IN KINDERGARTEN

SOURCE: NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS

Check out the NCES data here for more categories.

See also the time-based splits between men and women.

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