London School of Economics Centre for the Economics of Education LSE
Centre for the Economics of Education  (CEE)

Abstract for:

Understanding Day Care Enrolment Gaps

Jonas  Jessen,  Sophia  Schmitz,  Sevrin  Waights,  September 2019
Paper No' CEPDP1650: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: child care, early education, inequality, socio—economic status, discrimination, synthetic control

JEL Classification: I24; J13

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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We document day care enrolment gaps by family background in a country with a universal day care system (Germany). Research demonstrates that children of less educated or foreign-born parents can benefit the most from day care, making it important to understand why such enrolment gaps exist. Using a unique data set that records both stated demand and actual usage of day care we demonstrate that differences in demand cannot fully explain the enrolment gaps. Investigating supply-side factors using quasi-experimental designs, we find that reducing both parental fees and scarcity of places significantly decreases enrolment gaps by parental education but not by parental country of birth. We discuss implications for policy.