Child care is a fact of life in America today. More than
two-thirds of all children under the age of five are cared for on a regular basis
by someone other than a parent. These children may attend day-care centers or
nursery schools, go to the home of a provider who tends to a number of children,
or be cared for by a relative, neighbor, baby-sitter, or nanny.
Since welfare reform in 1996, more mothers have had to find child care as
they begin to enter the workforce and meet the new work requirements and time
limits. From 1997 to 1999, for example, the share of current welfare recipients
working for pay rose from 22 percent to 32 percent.