Report provides important child care findings

By Kerry Coffey

For the first time, information is available on where “at risk” children in South Carolina are receiving preschool care. A report released by Clemson University ’s Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life is based on a survey of 1,211 state households and includes information on 668 children ages birth through five.

“This is the first data of its kind for South Carolina,” said researcher Janet Marsh, author of the report. “We now know where children are – whether in formal child care settings, informal settings such as with family members or friends, or parent care. We are particularly interested in the care patterns of low-income children because this group is least ready for school and most likely to eventually drop out.”

The report provides a clear picture to education and business leaders about the care of the state’s youngest citizens. It can serve as a valuable tool in setting direction and creating programs to serve the needs of children and families.

This and other reports are available at www.clemson.edu/ifnl/. Look for “Areas of Interest/Child Care.” Findings on children birth-12 and 6-12 are also on the website.