Term Paper: Child Care on Single Parents

Pages: 9 (2371 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The issues of availability, flexibility and cost are of utmost importance to single parents. While the government and community will not be able to solve all of their childcare needs, it is important that efforts be made to improve the cost and quality of childcare.

In the end, with efforts from the community and government, new and improved childcare options could be created for single parents, relieving them of many of the urgent financial and social burdens placed on them by the existing system.

Benefits to Special Population and People of Color

Since many single parents are minorities and people of color, the need for childcare is a growing concern. Many welfare recipients have traditionally been minorities, especially women and people of color.

Various new work requirements present a major problem for women who are expected to work and get off welfare while dealing with the responsibility of raising their children.

At the same time, adequate and affordable childcare for working mothers remains a major problem. Basically, while expectations regarding women's participation in the labor force have changed, expectations regarding women's primary responsibility for taking care of their children have not. Therefore, special benefits are required for single parents, especially minorities and people of color, to allow them a fair opportunity in childcare.

Special benefits for minorities and people of color should emphasize parental choice by letting parents choose the childcare that best meets their needs - whether with a relative, neighbor, child care center, religious program, or after school program. Providing certificates or vouchers in all states could do this.

A call for childcare is more than a call for minimum survival for women and their families in the struggle to balance paid and unpaid work. Public childcare policy has tended to center on allowing mothers, and particularly single mothers, to work in the low wage labor market. But it has neglected their childcare needs.


According to a General Accounting Office study, affordable childcare is a decisive factor that encourages or discourages single mothers to seek and maintain employment (Ohl, 2002). Another study revealed that single parents who received childcare assistance were more successful in successfully completing educational or job training, obtaining jobs or experiencing other positive outcomes. This proves that childcare is a critical work support for all families and affordability is an especially important issue for single parents.

Federal subsidies currently help single parents access affordable child care as a work support. However, the affordable solutions often provide poor quality care. Due to the fact that the care children receive shapes the way they think and learn, it is important to call attention to the need for quality childcare that is affordable and available to single parents.

The following recommendations would undoubtedly working toward the goal of providing quality, affordable childcare (Ohl, 2002):

grants and loans to childcare providers for quality improvements, advanced training and technical assistance for childcare providers and staff, monitoring of compliance with regulatory quality requirements, strategies to improve retention and compensation of child care providers, and strategies to promote private and community efforts for improved childcare.


Over the past several years, many factors have contributed to the dramatic increases in the labor force participation of parents, which has posed many challenges and opportunities to providing quality and affordable childcare for single parents.

According to Ohl (2002), "11.9 million children younger than 5 in the United States - or about 6 in 10 - spend part of their waking hours in the care of people other than their parents: relatives, caregivers operating out of their homes, workers in child-care centers, Head Start staff members, and teachers in state-financed pre-kindergartens among them."

In a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures (1997) employers cited childcare as causing more problems in the workplace than any other family-related issue. Increases in absenteeism and tardiness due to problems with childcare were reported in nine out of ten companies. Eighty percent of the companies surveyed reported that workdays were cut short because of childcare problems.

Quality childcare, educational programs and after-school activities are extremely helpful to single parents and provide creative ways for them to shoulder the responsibility of raising children while working. For low-income single parents, safe and affordable childcare can often make the difference between getting out of poverty and falling further into it. Children with single parents in particular benefit from quality, affordable childcare experiences. Unfortunately, most single parents do not have access to it.

The paper provides an analysis of the existing problems surrounding childcare, as well as local, state and federal recommendations to expand child care for single parents and to improve quality, and implications of these changes.


Women's Stake in Improving the Availability, Affordability, and Quality of Child Care and Early Education," National Women's Law Center (1999).

Center for Early Education and Development (CEED). (1992). University of Minnesota. Retrieved on Internet at http://education.umn.edu/ceed/publications/factfind/ff1992e.htm.

Children's Defense Fund, The State of America's Children: Yearbook 2001 (2001).

Coalition on Human Needs (CHN). (2003). CHN Issue Brief on Child Care. Retrieved on Internet at http://www.chn.org/issuebriefs/childcare.asp.

Ford, Reuben. (1995). Childcare in the Balance: How Lone Parents Make Decisions about Work. Policy Studies Institute.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Child Care on Single Parents.  (2003, April 6).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/child-care-single-parents/9327129

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"Child Care on Single Parents."  Essaytown.com.  April 6, 2003.  Accessed May 25, 2019.