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Universal childcare and long-term effects on child well-being: Evidence from Canada

TitleUniversal childcare and long-term effects on child well-being: Evidence from Canada
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLebihan, L., Haeck C., and Merrigan P.
JournalResearch Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management Working Papers
Keywordschild well-being, childcare policy, natural experiment, universal childcare
Abstract

Starting in 1997, the Canadian province of Quebec implemented a $5 per day universal childcare policy for children aged less than 5 years old. This reform significantly increased mothers' participation in the labor market as well as the proportion of children attending subsidized childcare. In this paper, we evaluate the long-term effects of the policy on child well-being (health, behavior, motor and social development) using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. We follow treated children for more than 9 years and investigate the impact well beyond the first few years of the policy. A nonexperimental evaluation framework based on multiple pre- and posttreatment periods is used to estimate the policy effects. We show that the reform had negative effects on preschool children's well-being, but these effects tend to disappear as the child gets older. We find that this pattern persist even ten years after the implementation of the reform.

URLhttp://econpapers.repec.org/paper/grcwpaper/15-02.htm
DOI
Document URLhttps://www.dropbox.com/s/9i2jvzzf3h4udlq/lebihan_haeck_lefebvre_merrigan_grch_wp15-04.pdf?dl=0