Setting the Stage: The Importance of Informal Child Care in California (Issue Brief)

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Jan 30, 2015
Jaime Thomas, Kimberly Boller, Cleo Jacobs Johnson, Madeline Young, and Mindy Hu

Key Findings:

  • Many children spend crucial developmental years in informal care.
  • Informal child care meets the needs of low-income, working parents.
  • Parents and others share concerns about quality in informal care.
  • Parents, caregivers, and state and local agency staff agree that informal caregivers need resources and support.

This issue brief presents findings from the Informal Caregivers Research Project, which aims to find out who informal caregivers are and to learn about their existing networks and needs for support in California. This brief, the first of three, highlights the importance of informal child care in the state. The project is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Children, Families, and Communities program.


Early Learning Strategy: Informal Caregivers Research Project


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Jaime Thomas
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Cleo Jacobs Johnson
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