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Ed. Dept. Releases Snapshot of U.S. Child-Care Arrangements

A majority of the 21.9 million children from newborns to age 5 in the United States spent at least one day a week in the care of someone other than a parent, and most parents say that the learning activities offered by that care provider are very important to them, according to a survey conducted by the federally funded National Center of Education Sciences. A nationally representative sample of about 8,000 families was surveyed between January and August 2012 to give a snapshot of the care arrangements for young children not yet enrolled in kindergarten. The survey also provides information on what parents find important in a care provider.

Parents were also asked about their own activities with their children, and most reported investing educational time with their youngsters: 98 percent said they taught letters, words, or numbers; 95 percent read to their young children in the past week; 94 percent sang songs with their children; 86 percent worked on arts and crafts, and 83 percent told their children a story.

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