Families: Summary & Data Highlights

Child Care 

From 2007 to 2011, use of child care for children birth to 5 years old increased sharply in King County’s South Region.

  •  In 2011, more than half of King County preschool-aged children were in regularly scheduled child care.
  • 17% of school-age children (age 6-14 years) attended regularly scheduled pre-school or after-school care.
  • Child care is most expensive for infants and at child care centers.
  • Child care subsidies are limited, especially in King County. 

Employment Benefits 

Employees of private companies in Washington were less likely to have health insurance benefits in 2011 than in 2004.

  • The overall picture for family-friendly employment benefits in Washington State was bleaker in 2011 than it was in 2004.
  • An exception to this trend was telecommuting, where, from 2000 to 2010, the percentage of King County workers participating in employer-sponsored telecommuting programs more than doubled – from 5% to 12%.  Participants were likely to be …
    • … highly educated.
    • … well-paid.
    • … non-union employees.
  • Although the percentage of King County workers offered on-site child care declined slightly (from 10% in 2000 to 7% in 2010), two groups of employees were offered this benefit at double the average rate:
    • 24% of workers in manufacturing
    • 20% of workers in firms with at least 1000 employees
    • In addition, union members were more likely than non-union workers to be offered this benefit.

Child Rearing – Coping & Emotional Support

Emotional support for child rearing is not equally available to all parents in King County.

  • Parents who had emotional support with child rearing all or most of the time were twice as likely to report coping “very well” than those with less support.
  • Some parents were less likely than others to have someone to whom they could turn for emotional support with child rearing.  These included:
    • People of color (70%) vs. non-Hispanic whites (87%)
    • People born outside the U.S. (69%) vs. U.S. born (86%)
    • People for whom English was not their first language (60% vs. 85%)
    • People with family income <$50,000 (69%) vs. income ≥$75,000 (85%)
    • People who were not part of a couple (68%) vs. those in a couple relationship (84%)

Reading/Telling Stories to Children 

Daily reading to children younger than 5 is most likely if parents were born in the U.S., learned English as their first language, and are non-Hispanic white.

  • 67% of King County children birth to age 5 were read to daily by parents or other family members; 46% were told stories daily.
  • Daily reading and daily story-telling were more likely for children living in Seattle than those living in the East Region.
  • Daily reading to children was most likely among parents/guardians who:
    • Were non-Hispanic white rather than people of color.
    • Were born in the U.S.
    • Spoke English as their first language.
    • Had graduated from college.
    • Earned $75,000 or more a year.
    • Were in excellent, very good, or good health.