Thirty-two percent of fathers with a wife in the workforce were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002, a bureau release said Monday.
As married women have increasingly moved into the labor force, fathers have become more available for child care while their wives are working, the bureau's report "Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2010" concluded.
"A recession may force families to adjust their child care arrangements," Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau, said. "It can trigger unemployment or changes in work hours, thus increasing the availability of fathers to provide child care.
"It also can reduce available income to pay for child care outside of the home."
Families with an employed mother and children younger than 15 paid an average of $138 per week for child care in 2010, up from $81 in 1985, the report said.