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Pre-School Education and Attainment in the NCDS and BCS


  • L Feinstein
  • Donald Robertson
  • James Symons


This paper considers the effect of how children pass time before entrance to school on attainment in primary school. We find in NCDS data that children perform marginally better at seven and eleven if they spent time with their mother, or at a pre-school, rather than in informal care. This holds when one controls for parental education, social class, and assessed parental interest in the child's education, as well as the quality of the peer group. In the BCS, however, time spent in nurseries effected no improvement in maths at ten as compared to time in informal care and pre-school children were performing much worse in reading. This worse performance was traceable to reduced vocabulary at five. Pre-school children were more advanced in copying at five relative to children in informal care but, while copying is a good predictor of scores in both maths and reading at ten, this advancement had been offset by then.

Suggested Citation

  • L Feinstein & Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1998. "Pre-School Education and Attainment in the NCDS and BCS," CEP Discussion Papers dp0382, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0382

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Efficiency and equity of European education and training policies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(2), pages 199-230, April.
    2. Apps, Patricia & Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2013. "The impact of pre-school on adolescents’ outcomes: Evidence from a recent English cohort," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 183-199.
    3. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    4. L Feinstein, 1998. "Pre-school Educational Inequality? British Children in the 1970 Cohort," CEP Discussion Papers dp0404, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Graham Hobbs & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Is Free School Meal Status a Valid Proxy for Socio-Economic Status (in Schools Research)?," CEE Discussion Papers 0084, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    6. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2002. "Class Ridden or Meritocratic? An Economic Analysis of Recent Changes in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 677, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Di Liberto, Adriana, 2008. "Education and Italian regional development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 94-107, February.

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