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Trends in Religious-Affiliated Child Care

by Roger Neugebauer
November/December 2008
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/trends-in-religious-affiliated-child-care/5018412/

In “Status Report #5 on Religious-Affiliated Child Care” in the September 2005 issue of Exchange, I observed that “early childhood programs in religious buildings in the United States are becoming more prevalent, more organized, and more evangelical.” These trends are continuing, while at the same time these programs are increasingly encountering the challenges facing the overall early childhood community.

Growing numbers

The number of centers in religious institutions continues to grow. Mike Wilson, of the Wilson Marketing Group, the premier manager of center databases, reports dramatic gains in the supply of early childhood programs 1992 through 2008 in religious settings:

Protestant programs 76.4% increase
Catholic programs 52.6% increase
Jewish programs 47.7% increase

The increases have not been uniform and across the board. In communities where religious institutions established early childhood programs early on, there have not been continuing increases in new programs. For example:

• Nina Chatin, the Director of the Department of Early Childhood Education for the Community Foundation for Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago reports that the number of synagogues offering early childhood services has remained steady over the past five years.

• Judy Christian, Director of the Children’s Ministry for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, indicates that ...

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