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Does more free childcare help parents work more?

Mike Brewer, Sarah Cattan (), Claire Crawford () and Birgitta Rabe
Additional contact information
Sarah Cattan: Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies
Claire Crawford: Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Birmingham

No W20/9, IFS Working Papers from Institute for Fiscal Studies

Abstract: Many governments are considering expanding childcare subsidies to increase the labour force participation of parents (especially mothers) with young children. In this paper, we study the potential impact of such a policy by comparing the e?ects of o?ering free part-time childcare and of expanding this offer to the whole school day in the context of England. We use two di?erent strategies exploiting free childcare eligibility rules based on date of birth. Both strategies suggest that free part-time childcare only marginally a?ects the labour force participation of mothers whose youngest child is eligible, but expanding from part-time to full-time free childcare leads to signi?cant increases in labour force partici-pation and employment of these mothers. These e?ects emerge immediately and grow over the months following entitlement. We ?nd no evidence that parents adjust their labour supply in anticipation of their children’s entitlement to free childcare.

Date: 2020-03-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem
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Related works:
Journal Article: Does more free childcare help parents work more? (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Does more free childcare help parents work more? (2016) Downloads
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