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EdSource poll: Child care and preschool costs force parents to make difficult tradeoffs

February 16, 2017
Louis Freedberg

The high cost of child care and preschool is placing a financial strain on California families and has forced many parents of young children to make difficult tradeoffs regarding work and family life, including choosing lower quality programs or even leaving the workforce altogether.

These are among the findings of an EdSource survey of 640 parents in California with children 5 years old and younger. The representative poll was conducted last summer by phone and online survey by the polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3).  The margin of error for the overall sample  is +/- 3.8% at the 95% confidence level.

Nearly half (47 percent) of California families with young children said a parent left the job market to address child care needs. One in 10 said they were either encouraged to leave a job or fired because of the demands child care placed on their schedule.