Free Daycare and Its Effects on Children and Their Families

61 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018

See all articles by Anna Busse

Anna Busse

Heidelberg University

Christina Gathmann

Alfred-Weber Institut; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: January 30, 2018

Abstract

Many governments invest substantial public funds to foster early childhood education. And yet, there are still many open questions who responds to and who benefits from public investments into early childcare. We use the introduction of free public daycare in German states to analyze its effects on children and their families. Our results suggest that effects of the policy differ by child age, gender and socio-economic status. Free daycare increases attendance among 2-3 year old’s with little response among older children. Yet, even with access to free daycare, we find few effects on maternal labor supply. Responses are generally stronger for poorer households and other vulnerable families. Child development, in turn, shows gender-specific effects that are in part explained by the differential choices parents of boys make compared to parents of girls.

Suggested Citation

Busse, Anna and Gathmann, Christina, Free Daycare and Its Effects on Children and Their Families (January 30, 2018). SOEPpaper No. 958. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3169867 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3169867

Anna Busse (Contact Author)

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

Christina Gathmann

Alfred-Weber Institut ( email )

Bergheimer Str. 20
Heidelberg, 69115
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=en&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos%

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~cgathman

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