Quantity and quality of childcare and children’s educational outcomes

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

April 15, 2022


Policy-makers wanting to support child development can choose to adjust the quantity or quality of publicly funded universal pre-school. To assess the impact of such changes, we estimate the effects of an increase in free pre-school education in England of about 3.5 months at age 3 on children’s school achievement at age 5. We exploit date-of-birth discontinuities that create variation in the length and starting age of free pre-school using administrative school records linked to nursery characteristics. Estimated effects are small overall, but the impact of the additional term is substantially larger in settings with the highest inspection quality rating but not in settings with highly qualified staff. Estimated effects fade out by age 7.

Published in

Journal of Population Economics

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 35 , p.785 -828







Open Access

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.



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