Who pays? the visible and invisible costs of child care

Marcia K. Meyers, Alesha Durfee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although the majority of young children now spend time in nonparental child care, we know relatively little about who provides this care and how its costs are distributed among parents, government, and other family members. In this article we use data from a survey of New York City families with children younger than six to estimate the contribution of parental expenditures, government assistance, and the market value of "donated" caregiving time by family, friends, and relatives. We conclude that uncompensated caregivers provide a substantial share of child care that is "invisible" in conventional economic measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalPolitics and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Caregiving
  • Child care
  • Gender
  • Social policy
  • Subsidies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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