ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



This technical assistance paper was prepared at the request of Milwaukee County to use the NSAF survey to help estimate the number of families needing Wisconsin child care subsidies for low-income families and to analyze the type of care selected by working parents in Milwaukee County. The National Survey of America’s Families, conducted in 1997 and in 1999, provides a unique opportunity to examine the child care arrangements and employment patterns of Milwaukee County mothers with preschool children. The survey instrument was designed to be representative for the nation as a whole and for 13 states, including Wisconsin. Milwaukee County was the only county in the U.S. to be separately surveyed. The survey reported that the majority of Milwaukee County mothers of preschool children do not work fulltime. In 1999, 28 percent of preschool children in lower-income families had a mother employed full-time (40 hours or more a week), as did 36 percent of children in families with mid-range income, and 49 percent of children in families with upper-range incomes.