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Do the Perils of Universal Child Care Depend on the Child's Age?

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  • Kottelenberg, Michael J.
  • Lehrer, Steven F.

Abstract

The rising participation of women in paid work has not only heightened demand for universal early education and care programs but also led to increased use of child care amongst children at earlier ages. Prior research investigating Quebec's universal highly-subsidized child care documented significant declines in a variety of developmental outcomes for all children aged 0-4 years. However, past analysis has not explored whether these effects vary for children of different ages. In this paper, we demonstrate substantial heterogeneity in policy impacts by child age. Children who gain access to subsidized child care at earlier ages experience significantly larger negative impacts on developmental scores, health and behavioral outcomes. The sole exception is the negative relationship between access to subsidized child care and hyperactivity scores which steepens with child age. Our analysis additionally provides significant evidence of treatment effect heterogeneity within ages, and reveals benefits from access to universal child care on developmental scores for those that are above three years of age.

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  • Kottelenberg, Michael J. & Lehrer, Steven F., 2014. "Do the Perils of Universal Child Care Depend on the Child's Age?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-14, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Mar 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2014-14
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    Cited by:

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    2. 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).
    3. Thérèse McDonnell, 2016. "Non-cognitive development in infancy: the influence of maternal employment and the mediating role of childcare," Working Papers 201606, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    4. Christina Felfe & Martin Huber, 2017. "Does preschool boost the development of minority children?: the case of Roma children," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 180(2), pages 475-502, February.
    5. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2015. "Non-Cognitive Deficits and Young Adult Outcomes: The Long-Run Impacts of a Universal Child Care Program," NBER Working Papers 21571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Aalto, Aino-Maija & Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2018. "Childcare - A safety net for children?," Working Paper Series 2018:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    7. Eszter Baranyai, 2023. "The Socio-Economic Status of Neighbourhoods and Access to Early Childhood Education," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 16(3), pages 1019-1048, June.
    8. Maryam Dilmaghani & Vurain Tabvuma, 2022. "Fragile Families in Quebec and the Rest of Canada: A Comparison of Parental Work-Life Balance Satisfaction," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(2), pages 695-728, April.
    9. Frauke H. Peter & Pia S. Schober & Katharina C. Spiess, 2016. "Early Birds in Day Care: The Social Gradient in Starting Day Care and Children’s Non-cognitive Skills," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo Group, vol. 62(4), pages 725-751.
    10. Laia Bosque-Mercader, 2022. "The Effect of a Universal Preschool Programme on Long-Term Health Outcomes: Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2022-07, FEDEA.
    11. Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2017. "Targeted or Universal Coverage? Assessing Heterogeneity in the Effects of Universal Child Care," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 609-653.
    12. Bosque-Mercader, L.;, 2022. "The Effect of a Universal Preschool Programme on Long-Term Health Outcomes: Evidence from Spain," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 22/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Fort, Margherita & Ichino, Andrea & Zanella, Giulio, 2016. "Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Costs of Daycare 0–2 for Girls," IZA Discussion Papers 9756, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Daniel Kuehnle & Michael Oberfichtner, 2020. "Does Starting Universal Childcare Earlier Influence Children’s Skill Development?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(1), pages 61-98, February.
    15. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Siflinger, Bettina M., 2018. "The Effects of Day Care on Health During Childhood: Evidence by Age," IZA Discussion Papers 11447, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Mette Goertz & Vibeke Myrup Jensen & Sarah Sander, 2023. "Daycare Enrollment Age and Child Development," CEBI working paper series 22-26, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    17. Fort, Margherita & Zanella, Giulio, 2019. "Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0–2 for children in advantaged families," CEPR Discussion Papers 11120, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. 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.
    19. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Siflinger, Bettina M., 2022. "The effects of a daycare reform on health in childhood – Evidence from Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    20. Francesca Carta & Lucia Rizzica, 2016. "Female employment and pre-kindergarten: On the unintended effects of an Italian reformAbstract: We theoretically show that when mothers need to buy childcare services not only if they work but also if," Working Papers 091, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    21. Aalto, Aino-Maija & Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2019. "Does childcare improve the health of children with unemployed parents? Evidence from Swedish childcare access reform," Working Paper Series 2019:1, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    22. Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2018. "Does Quebecs subsidized child care policy give boys and girls an equal start?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 51(2), pages 627-659, May.

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    Keywords

    childcare policy; child development; treatment effect heterogeneity; change in change estimator; natural experiment;
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