In summer 2016, the Action Strategy Equitable Access to Programs and Services Team (Access Team) worked with SMS Research to conduct a survey of parents of children aged 5 and younger. The main goals of the survey were to assess:
- Current childcare arrangements including the entities that provide care, the location at which childcare is provided, the amount of time per day and week childcare services are used, and the current cost of care
- Important factors that influence decisions about childcare
- The extent to which Hawai‘i families are aware of and use various parenting support services and programs.
420 people completed the survey and the findings can be generalized to the population of Hawai‘i households with children aged 5 years and younger with 95% confidence. Of the respondents, 256 were on Oahu, 114 on Maui, 43 on Hawai‘i Island, 11 on Kaua‘i.
The Access Team has created preliminary recommendations from the survey data analysis. When the recommendations are finalized, they will be posted here. The recommendations are related to policies and strategies that will increase access to childcare and parenting supports across Hawai‘i.
Some highlights of the research findings:
- The highest need for childcare is during the week during the workday.
- The majority of families report that a spouse or other family member cared for their child in the 7 days preceding the survey. Although nearly 60 percent of parents report that a non-spouse/partner family member cared for their child, they also report that the family member is likely to provide care on only one day out of the week. Preschools, childcare centers, or individual childcare providers seem to be the entities that parents rely upon for regular care for most days out of the work week.
- The majority of parents report that the childcare centers that provide care for their children are licensed, but that individual care providers and family members are not.
- The overwhelming majority of parents report being satisfied or very satisfied with the care provided by the parties who currently care for their children.
- The average monthly total out-of-pocket costs for childcare across the sample is about $435.00.
- About 20 percent of parents report being the recipients of financial assistance for childcare. Lower income families most commonly report Childcare Connections as the source of their financial support. Higher income families report that their support comes from the Pauahi Scholarship.
- The average amount received per month, per child in childcare cost subsidies is about $450.00.
- Parents report high quality of care, location of the provider, and the provider’s ability to prepare their children for kindergarten as being most important in their decision about selecting a childcare provider.
- Quality of care, cost, and location of the provider are reported by the majority of parents as factors that influenced an actual childcare provider selection.
- Parents most commonly report that the most helpful parenting support service would be those that provide assistance with activities to do with their children.
- Parents generally agree that they require more information about parenting support services and programs available in their communities, and they express less agreement with the fact that available information is easy to access. Parents also report that they do not know where to go for information about childcare cost subsidies.
- Families reporting annual incomes of $40,000 or less consider different factors when making a decision about a childcare provider than do families with incomes in excess of $70,000. Higher-earning families prioritize quality over cost whereas lower-earning families are forced into trading off quality for affordability.
The full survey is available as a PDF download. If you have questions or suggestions for recommendations based on the report, please contact Access Team Conveners, Kerrie Urosevich, Kerrie@clnhawaii.org or Ka‘ina Bonacorsi, firstname.lastname@example.org.