Absenteeism because of illness was recorded for 346 children and 98 staff members at eight daycare centers in Gothenburg during a nine-month period between October 1987 and June 1988. A comparison was made with a similar, nationwide study, carried out in 1977 by the Swedish Central Bureau of Statistics. This comparison demonstrated that the absence of children and employees from daycare centers for health reasons was of the same proportion in the present study as that reported a decade earlier. Absenteeism because of illness among the 346 children at the daycare centers was also compared with absenteeism among 49 children in 14 groups run according to the three-family system (three to six children/group). It was found that absenteeism was at least twice as frequent among children at daycare centers than among those in the three-family system.