Childcare Use and Its Role in Indigenous Child Development: Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children in Australia

50 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2016

See all articles by Francisco Azpitarte

Francisco Azpitarte

Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research & Brotherhood of St Laurence

Abraham Chigavazira

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Guyonne R.J. Kalb

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research; ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course; IZA

Brad Farrant

Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia

Francisco Perales

University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR)

Stephen R. Zubrick

Perth Children’s Hospital - Telethon Kids Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 8, 2016

Abstract

This paper investigates patterns of childcare use and their influence on the cognitive development of Indigenous children. The influence of childcare on the cognitive outcomes of Indigenous children is less well understood than for non-Indigenous children due to a lack of appropriate data. This paper uses data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children, a unique panel survey that tracks two cohorts of Indigenous children in Australia. This paper focusses on the younger cohort that has been followed from infancy and includes rich information on their childcare use and cognitive outcomes. We find that, compared to Indigenous children who never participated in childcare, Indigenous children who participated in childcare performed better on a range of cognitive outcomes measured across the preschool years. Using regression and propensity score matching techniques we show that this difference is entirely driven by selection into childcare, with children from more advantaged families being more likely to attend formal childcare than children from less advantaged families. However, results from the matching analysis suggest that relatively disadvantaged children might benefit more from attending childcare, as indicated by the positive potential effects found for those who never attended childcare (i.e. the estimated effects had they participated in childcare).

Keywords: Childcare, Child Development, Indigenous Population, LSIC Data

JEL Classification: J13, J15, D19

Suggested Citation

Azpitarte, Francisco and Chigavazira, Abraham and Kalb, Guyonne R.J. and Farrant, Brad and Perales, Francisco and Zubrick, Stephen R., Childcare Use and Its Role in Indigenous Child Development: Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children in Australia (December 8, 2016). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 36/16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2882888 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2882888

Francisco Azpitarte

Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research & Brotherhood of St Laurence ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
111 Barry Street, University of Melbourne
Melbourne, 3010
+61 3 9035 3414 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 2111 (Fax)

Abraham Chigavazira

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Guyonne R.J. Kalb (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, 3053
Australia

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Brad Farrant

Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia ( email )

100 Roberts Rd
Subiaco, Western Australia
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/profile/?dn=cn%3DBradley%20Farrant%2Cou%3DTelethon%20Kids%20Institute%2Cou

Francisco Perales

University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR)

North 3 (Bldg 39A)
St Lucia, Queensland QLD 4072
Australia

Stephen R. Zubrick

Perth Children’s Hospital - Telethon Kids Institute ( email )

100 Roberts Rd
Subiaco, Western Australia
Australia

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