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Universal Pre-School Education: The Case of Public Funding with Private Provision

Author

Listed:
  • Jo Blanden
  • Emilia Del Bono
  • Sandra McNally
  • Birgitta Rabe

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of free pre-school education on child outcomes in primary school. We exploit the staggered implementation of free part-time pre-school for three-year-olds across Local Education Authorities in England in the early 2000s. The policy led to small improvements in attainment at age five, with no apparent benefits by age 11. We argue that this is because the expansion of free places largely crowded out privately paid care, with small changes in total participation, and was achieved through an increase in private provision, where quality is lower on average than in the public sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Blanden & Emilia Del Bono & Sandra McNally & Birgitta Rabe, 2015. "Universal Pre-School Education: The Case of Public Funding with Private Provision," CEP Discussion Papers dp1352, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1352
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gambaro, Ludovica & Stewart, Kitty & Waldfogel, Jane, 2013. "A question of quality: do children from disadvantagedbackgrounds receive lower quality early years educationand care in England?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51274, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
    3. Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter A. & Yavitz, Adam, 2010. "The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 114-128, February.
    4. Dumas Christelle & Lefranc Arnaud, 2010. "Early schooling and later outcomes : Evidence from pre-school extension in France," THEMA Working Papers 2010-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    5. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
    6. repec:cep:sticas:/171 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Simonsen, Marianne, 2010. "Non-cognitive child outcomes and universal high quality child care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 30-43, February.
    8. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    9. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
    10. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
    11. Birgitta Rabe & Mark Taylor, 2010. "Residential mobility, quality of neighbourhood and life course events," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(3), pages 531-555, July.
    12. Ludovica Gambaro & Kitty Stewart & Jane Waldfogel, 2013. "A question of quality: Do children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive lower quality early years education and care in England?," CASE Papers case171, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campbell, Tammy & Gambaro, Ludovica & Stewart, Kitty, 2018. "‘Universal’ early education: Who benefits? Patterns in take-up of the entitlement to free early education among three-year-olds in England," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 515-538.
    2. Gambaro, Ludovica, 2017. "Who is minding the kids? New developments and lost opportunities in reforming the British early education workforce," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 320-331.
    3. Kühnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does Early Child Care Attendance Influence Children's Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skill Development?," IZA Discussion Papers 10661, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Brewer, Mike & Cattan, Sarah & Crawford, Claire & Rabe, Birgitta, 2016. "Free Childcare and Parents' Labour Supply: Is More Better?," IZA Discussion Papers 10415, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Busse, Anna & Gathmann, Christina, 2018. "Free Daycare and its Effects on Children and their Families," IZA Discussion Papers 11269, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Jens Dietrichson & Ida Lykke Kristiansen & Bjørn A. Viinholt, 2020. "Universal Preschool Programs And Long‐Term Child Outcomes: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 1007-1043, December.
    7. Ludovica Gambaro & Guido Neidhöfer & C. Katharina Spieß, 2019. "The Effect of Early Childhood Education and Care Services on the Social Integration of Refugee Families," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1828, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Yusuf Emre Akgündüz & Thomas Huizen & Janneke Plantenga, 0. "“Who’ll take the chair?” Maternal employment effects of a Polish (pre)school reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-37.
    9. Mike Brewer & Sarah Cattan & Claire Crawford & Birgitta Rabe, 2016. "Does more free childcare help parents work more?," IFS Working Papers W16/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    10. Tammy Campbell & Ludovica Gambaro & Kitty Stewart, 2019. "Inequalities in the experience of early education in England: Access, peer groups and transitions," CASE Papers /214, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    11. Stahl, Juliane Frederike & Schober, Pia Sophia, 2018. "Convergence or Divergence? Educational Discrepancies in Work-Care Arrangements of Mothers with Young Children in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 629-649.
    12. van Huizen, Thomas & Plantenga, Janneke, 2018. "Do children benefit from universal early childhood education and care? A meta-analysis of evidence from natural experiments," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 206-222.
    13. Jessen, Jonas & Spiess, C. Katharina & Waights, Sevrin, 2020. "Center-based care and parenting activities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108482, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Busse, Anna & Gathmann, Christina, 2020. "Free daycare policies, family choices and child development," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 240-260.
    15. Campbell, Tammy & Gambaro, Ludovica & Stewart, Kitty, 2019. "Inequalities in the experience of early education in England: access, peer groups and transitions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103460, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Jo Blanden & Kirstine Hansen & Sandra McNally, 2017. "Quality in Early Years Settings and Children’s School Achievement," CEP Discussion Papers dp1468, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Ram Singh, 2018. "Public–private partnerships vs. traditional contracts for highways," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 29-63, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Childcare; child outcomes; publicly provided goods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets

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