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Universal child care and longer-run effects on parental health and behaviors: Evidence from a Canadian universal child care program

TitleUniversal child care and longer-run effects on parental health and behaviors: Evidence from a Canadian universal child care program
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLebihan, L., Haeck C., Lefebvre P., and Merrigan P.
JournalReserach Group on Human Capital Working Paper
Keywordschild care policy, longer-run effects, natural experiment, parental health and behaviors, universal child care
Abstract

In this paper, we study the long-run impact of a universal child care policy in Quebec on parental health and parenting practices. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Child and Youth, we follow treated families for more than 9 years and investigate the impact well beyond the first few years of the policy. A non-experimental evaluation framework based on multiple pre- and post-treatment periods is used to estimate the policy effects. We show that the policy increased mothers' depression scores with preschool children as well as scores of inappropriate parenting behavior. The policy increased hostile and aversive parenting and reduced positive interaction and consistent parenting. However, negative effects of the program on parental behaviors vanish when the child is in school. Moreover, we find that this pattern persists even ten years after the implementation of the reform.

URLhttp://grch.esg.uqam.ca/publications/?lang=en
Document URLhttps://www.dropbox.com/s/9i2jvzzf3h4udlq/lebihan_haeck_lefebvre_merrigan_grch_wp15-04.pdf?dl=0