Child Care Before Age Two and the Development of Language and Numeracy: Evidence from a Lottery

29 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2015

See all articles by Nina Drange

Nina Drange

Statistics Norway

Tarjei Havnes

University of Oslo - Department of Economics

Abstract

Young children are thought to be vulnerable to separation from the primary caregiver/s. This raises concern about whether early child care enrollment may harm children's development. We use child care assignment lotteries to estimate the effect of child care starting age on early cognitive achievement in Oslo, Norway. Getting a lottery offer lowers starting age by about four months, from a mean of about 19 months in the control group. Lottery estimates show significant score gains for children at age seven. Survey evidence and an increase in labor supply of both mothers and fathers following the offer, suggest that parental care is the most relevant alternative mode of care. We document that the assignment lottery generates balance in observable characteristics, supporting our empirical approach.

Keywords: early child care, child development

JEL Classification: I21, J13

Suggested Citation

Drange, Nina and Havnes, Tarjei, Child Care Before Age Two and the Development of Language and Numeracy: Evidence from a Lottery. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2582539 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2582539

Nina Drange (Contact Author)

Statistics Norway ( email )

Tarjei Havnes

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

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