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Child care and school performance in Denmark and the United States

Author

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  • Esping-Andersen, Gosta
  • Garfinkel, Irwin
  • Han, Wen-Jui
  • Magnuson, Katherine
  • Wagner, Sander
  • Waldfogel, Jane

Abstract

Child care and early education policies may not only raise average achievement but may also be of special benefit for less advantaged children, in particular if programs are high quality. We test whether high quality child care is equalizing using rich longitudinal data from two comparison countries, Denmark and the United States. In Denmark, we find that enrollment in high-quality formal care at age 3 is associated with higher cognitive scores at age 11. Moreover, the findings suggest stronger effects for the lowest-income children and for children at the bottom of the test score distribution. In the U.S. case, results are different. We find that enrollment in school or center based care is associated with higher cognitive scores at school entry, but the beneficial effects erode by age 11, particularly for disadvantaged children. Thus, the U.S. results do not point to larger and more lasting effects for disadvantaged children. This may be because low income children attend poorer quality care and subsequently attend lower quality schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Esping-Andersen, Gosta & Garfinkel, Irwin & Han, Wen-Jui & Magnuson, Katherine & Wagner, Sander & Waldfogel, Jane, 2012. "Child care and school performance in Denmark and the United States," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 576-589.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:576-589
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168241, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Olivier Thévenon & Angela Luci, 2012. "Reconciling Work, Family and Child Outcomes: What Implications for Family Support Policies?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(6), pages 855-882, December.
    3. Marchal, Sarah & Marx, Ive & Verbist, Gerlinde, 2017. "Income Support Policies for the Working Poor," IZA Discussion Papers 10665, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," Discussion Papers 100, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    5. Brännström, Lars & Vinnerljung, Bo & Hjern, Anders, 2015. "Risk factors for teenage childbirths among child welfare clients: Findings from Sweden," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 44-51.
    6. Adema, Willem, 2012. "Setting the scene: The mix of family policy objectives and packages across the OECD," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 487-498.

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