Childcare arrangements and parents’ priorities regarding the frameworks for children up to age 3

18/10/2021 |  Shachar Ella
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Welfare Policy and Labor Market

This research outlines the childcare arrangements for children up to age 3, and examines the extent to which the existing arrangements are in line with parents’ priorities, in order to identify policy focal points, if there are any, that require government intervention. The analysis is based on two designated surveys, conducted mainly through the Internet using statistical tools to improve their representativeness (the GRAG method). In the surveys, the existing childcare arrangements were divided into 2 groups, according to the level of government intervention—public frameworks and private ones. The survey among Jewish non-ultra-Orthodox families indicates that private frameworks are the main childcare arrangement, serving about half of families, and the remaining families are divided equally between public frameworks and home care. In most of the families, the child is cared for in the framework preferred by the parents. Among the children of families that are eligible for childcare in a public framework, about a third are in fact cared for in such a format, about half are cared for in a private framework, and most of the parents of those children were of the opinion that it is better for their children. The remaining families are equally divided between home care by the parents and care by a caregiver. The overall majority preferred a framework other than the public framework. The survey among Arab society indicates that in more than half of the families, children up to age 3 are cared for at home. The main framework outside the home is the public framework: children from about a third of such families are cared for in that format, and only in a tenth of the families are the children cared for in a private-market setting. Most unemployed mothers reported that the main reason that they are not employed was to care for a child up to age 3, and more than half the reasons that the mothers who are not employed noted as a reason for choosing home childcare are related to the childcare framework.