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Universal Childcare and Longer-Run Effects on Parental Health and Behaviors: Evidence from a Canadian Universal Child Care Program

Laetitia Lebihan, Catherine Haeck (), Pierre Lefebvre () and Philip Merrigan ()

No 15-04, Working Papers from Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management

Abstract: In this paper, we study the long-run impact of a universal child care policy in Quebec on parental health and parenting practices. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Child and Youth, we follow treated families for more than 9 years and investigate the impact well beyond the first few years of the policy. A non-experimental evaluation framework based on multiple pre- and post-treatment periods is used to estimate the policy effects. We show that the policy increased mothers' depression scores with preschool children as well as scores of inappropriate parenting behavior. The policy increased hostile and aversive parenting and reduced positive interaction and consistent parenting. However, negative effects of the program on parental behaviors vanish when the child is in school. Moreover, we find that this pattern persists even ten years after the implementation of the reform.

Keywords: universal child care; parental health and behaviors; longer-run effects; child care policy; natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I31 J18 J20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2015-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-lab
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