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Copyright 1982 Probably not the same person who was minding them in 1958, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data conducted by three researchers from the bureau's population division.

In 1958, 57 percent of the young children whose mothers were employed full time were cared for in their own homes. Family members other than the mother were, in many cases, the chief care-givers; 15 percent of these children were cared for by their fathers, while in another 28 percent of the cases other relatives came to the child's home while the parents were at work. Only 5 percent of the mothers who worked full time placed their children in group care.

By 1977, however, a marked change in child-care arrangements had occured, according to the analysis by Martin O'Connell, Ann C. Orr, and Marjorie Lueck. Only 29 percent of the children of working mothers were cared for in their homes, and 47 percent went to someone else's home--usually not a relative's.

These trends, the researchers said, are closely tied to the changes in household and family living arrangements, as well as the increased number of women in the work force. "The 'next-door neighbor' of the 1950's who may have frequently been available for child-care services is very likely in the 1980's to be out working herself," they write in a summary of the research.

Teen-age pregnancy is an expensive problem for individuals and for the nation, and it is becoming more so as more teen-agers become sexually active.

A disproportionately large number of mothers who bore their first child as teen-agers receive welfare, according to Kristin A. Moore and Martha R. Burt, researchers from the Urban Institute in Washington.

While there is no conclusive evidence that welfare encourages teen-age women to become pregnant, they say, welfare costs could be decreased if policy-makers encouraged "intervention" before pregnancy occurred rather than after.

More than one-half the budget for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (afdc) goes to women who bore their first child during their teen-age years, according to the researchers, and 71 percent of all mothers under 30 who receive afdc had a baby before reaching the age of 20.

Given the likelihood that the teenage mothers will receive public support, the researchers argue, it would make more sense to "intervene" earlier--before pregnancy and within the family or local community--rather than after pregnancy or at the national level.

Vol. 01, Issue 17

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