Nation & World

Poll shows gap between parent views and expert assessments of quality of U.S. child care

2 min read

Cost and availability of child care are major challenges for parents

A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll suggests a major gap between parents’ views and research experts’ assessments of the quality of child care in the U.S. Most parents (59 percent) believe their child receives “excellent” quality child care. By contrast, the most recent major study on the state of U.S. child care suggests a majority of child care is not high quality.

NPR, RWJF, and the Harvard Chan School polled 1,120 parents or guardians of children 5 years old or younger who were not yet in kindergarten and received regularly scheduled care at least once a week from someone other than a parent, and found that about three in five parents (59 percent) rate the quality of care their child receives as “excellent.” However, findings from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development published in 2006 indicated that a majority of child care in the U.S. is of “fair” quality.

“This poll gives voice to the challenges that many parents face in finding high quality and affordable care for their children,” says Gillian SteelFisher, deputy director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program at Harvard Chan School, who directed the poll.

View the complete poll findings. To read the full release, visit the Harvard Chan School website.

Tune in to The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today  for expert perspectives on the topic. Visit this link to learn more about the event, watch the live broadcast, and access the on-demand recording once it becomes available.