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Application barriers and the socioeconomic gap in child care enrollment

Henning Hermes, Philipp Lergetporer, Frauke Peter and Simon Wiederhold ()

No 13/2024, IWH Discussion Papers from Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH)

Abstract: Why are children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) substantially less likely to be enrolled in child care? We study whether barriers in the application process work against lower-SES children - the group known to benefit strongest from child care enrollment. In an RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (N = 607), we offer treated families information and personal assistance for applications. We find substantial, equity-enhancing effects of the treatment, closing half of the large SES gap in child care enrollment. Increased enrollment for lower-SES families is likely driven by altered application knowledge and behavior. We discuss scalability of our intervention and derive policy implications for the design of universal child care programs.

Keywords: application barriers; child care; early childhood; educational inequality; information; randomized controlled trial (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 I21 J13 J18 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2024
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem and nep-exp
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/289798/1/1886381968.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Application Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment (2024) Downloads
Working Paper: Application Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment (2021) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:289798

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