Parent Survey on Searching for Child Care in the District of Columbia during the Pandemic

Technical Report

This report documents the steps we took to design and administer a telephone survey of parents and guardians residing in the District of Columbia regarding their recent experiences looking for and selecting a child care provider. Data collection occurred in April through July 2022 after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. All study participants had a child younger than age 6 who was enrolled in a licensed child care program within the past academic year.

The survey gathered information on the ease of accessing information about child care options, experiences searching for and selecting care, perceptions of local care supply and the availability of high-quality child care particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and perceptions regarding how the child care provider they use does or does not support their child’s growth and development. Respondents also reported on their knowledge and use of quality ratings from DC’s child care quality rating and improvement system called Capital Quality.

In this report, we describe the survey development process, recruitment and data collection procedures, characteristics of the survey sample, and steps taken to clean and analyze the survey data. A companion report presents key survey findings.