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When rationing plays a role: selection criteria in the Italian early child care system

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  • Daniela Del Boca
  • Chiara Pronzato
  • Giuseppe Sorrenti

Abstract

Our study analyses the costs and benefits of early child care for mothers’ labour supply and child development in Italy, exploring the role of the selection criteria used by local governments to assign child care slots. In Italy, only around 13% of the demand for public child care coverage is met, and the number of applications exceeds the number of places in child care services in all regions. In conditions of excess demand, municipalities introduce selection criteria to give priority to families for whom access to public child care appears to be more valuable. We analyse, through simulations, the consequences of introducing different selection criteria for children, for their mothers, and also for municipalities, using a sample of households with children under three years of age (EU-SILC), and the selection criteria used by six representative Italian municipalities. Our results have some potentially interesting policy implications. The benefits in terms of child outcomes and mothers’ labour supply are stronger in contexts where selection criteria give priority to more disadvantaged households. However, in these contexts the selected households contribute less to the costs of child care, which reduces the municipalities’ monetary revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Pronzato & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2015. "When rationing plays a role: selection criteria in the Italian early child care system," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 399, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:399
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    Cited by:

    1. Biroli, Pietro & Del Boca, Daniela & Heckman, James J. & Heckman, Lynne Pettler & Koh, Yu Kyung & Kuperman, Sylvi & Moktan, Sidharth & Pronzato, Chiara D. & Ziff, Anna L., 2018. "Evaluation of the Reggio approach to early education," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32.
    2. Daniela Del Boca, 2015. "The impact of child care costs and availability on mothers’ labor supply," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/04, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    3. Daniela Del Boca & Enrica Maria Martino & Chiara Pronzato, 2017. "Early Childcare and Child Non-Cognitive Outcomes," CHILD Working Papers Series 58 JEL Classification: J1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    4. Gloria Di Caprera, 2016. "Ready to learn: the role of childcare attendance on children's school outcomes in Italy," CEIS Research Paper 378, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 09 May 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child care; mothers’ employment; child development.;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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