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Does Early Child Care Affect Children's Development?

Christina Felfe and Rafael Lalive

No 12675, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We study how early child care (ECC) affects children's development in a marginal treatment effect framework that allows for rich forms of observed and unobserved effect heterogeneity. Exploiting a reform in Germany that induced school districts to expand ECC at different points in time, we find strong but diverging effects on children's motor and socio-emotional skills. Children who were most likely to attend ECC benefit in terms of their motor skill development. Children who were least likely to attend ECC gain in terms of their socio-emotional skill development, especially boys and children from disadvantaged families, such as those with low education or migration backgrounds. Simulating expansions of ECC, we find that a moderate expansion fosters motor skills for all children and language skills for boys and immigrant children. A progressive expansion of ECC improves all children's socio-emotional development but neither their motor skills nor their language skills.

Keywords: child development; early child care; marginal treatment effects; rationing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I38 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-ure
Date: 2018-02
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