A new report from the Census Bureau finds that the number of dads who look after the kids has been steadily rising in the past decade: “Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32 percent were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002.”


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In households with working mothers and pre-school age children, the Census reports, most care is given by family members — 30 percent by grandparents, 29 percent by fathers, and 12 percent from “a sibling or other relative.” In a different vein, 10 percent of kids aged 5 to 11 looked after themselves, while 30 percent of children aged 12 to 14 were so-called latchkey kids.

Another notable bit from the Census report was this stat: Families below the poverty line who paid for child care spent nearly 40 percent of their monthly income on care, compared with just 7 percent for families at or above the poverty line. Part of the story here is that child care has gotten increasingly expensive over time: families with an employed mother and children younger than 15 paid $138 per week for child care in 2010, up sharply from $81 (in 2010 dollars) back in 1985.