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.
Journal of Population Economics
Volume and page numbers
Volume: 35 , p.785 -828
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