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Does Formal Child Care Availability for 0?3 Year Olds Boost Mothers' Employment Rate? Panel Data Based Evidence from Belgium


  • Claire Dujardin
  • Muriel Fonder
  • Bernard Lejeune


In 2003, a new multi-annual program aimed at increasing the availability of formal child care for 0?3 year old children was launched in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. This paper is interested in evaluating if this increased availability of formal child care resulted in a higher employment rate for women with at least one child under 3. To this end, we use a difference-in-differences approach based on municipality-level panel data, taking advantage of the fact that the increase in availability of formal child care differed greatly across municipalities. We find that the raise in child care availability significantly increased the maternal employment rate, but to a lesser extent than expected, most likely because of a substantial crowding-out effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Claire Dujardin & Muriel Fonder & Bernard Lejeune, 2018. "Does Formal Child Care Availability for 0?3 Year Olds Boost Mothers' Employment Rate? Panel Data Based Evidence from Belgium," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 129, pages 103-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2018:i:129:p:103-126
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.129.0103

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Henning Hermes & Marina Krauß & Philipp Lergetporer & Frauke Peter & Simon Wiederhold, 2022. "Early Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Gender Equality: A Randomized Controlled Trial," CESifo Working Paper Series 10178, CESifo.
    2. María Padilla-Romo & Francisco Cabrera-Hernández, 2018. "The Effect of Children's Time in School on Mothers' Labor Supply: Evidence from Mexico's Full-Time Schools Program," Working Papers 2018-04, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    3. Hermes, Henning & Krauß, Marina & Lergetporer, Philipp & Peter, Frauke & Wiederhold, Simon, 2022. "Early Child Care and Labor Supply of Lower-SES Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 15814, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2020. "Does subsidized care for toddlers increase maternal labor supply? Evidence from a large-scale expansion of early childcare," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    5. Leen Marynissen & Jonas Wood & Karel Neels, 2021. "Mothers and Parental Leave in Belgium: Social Inequalities in Eligibility and Uptake," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 9(2), pages 325-337.
    6. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Wrohlich, Katharina & Sengül, Denise, 2016. "Does subsidized care for toddlers increase maternal labor supply? Evidence from a large-scale expansion of early childcare," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145654, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Edlira Narazania & Ana Agundez Garcia & Michael Christl & Francesco Figari, 2023. "The impact of alternative childcare policies on mothers' employment in selected EU countries," Working Papers 636, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Jennifer Glass & Carolyn E. Waldrep, 2023. "Child Allowances and Work-Family Reconciliation Policies: What Best Reduces Child Poverty and Gender Inequality While Enabling Desired Fertility?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 42(5), pages 1-57, October.

    More about this item


    Child Care; Maternal Employment; Difference-in-Differences; Random Trend Model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure


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