July 2011

IZA DP No. 5848: Where to Put the Kids? Effects of Type of Non-parental Child Care on Pre-teen Skills and Risky Behavior

short version published as 'The effects of type of non-parental child care on pre-teen skills and risky behavior' in: Economics Letters 2012, 116, 622-625

This paper investigates pre-teenage effects of the choice of type of non-parental child care at age three (preschool relative to more informal family day care). We exploit a Danish panel data child survey merged with administrative records along with a pseudo-experiment that generates variation in the take-up of preschool across municipalities. As outcomes, we consider measures of overall and risky behavior in addition to objective and self-evaluated abilities. We find no strong evidence that one type of non-parental care outperforms the other, though children who have been placed in preschool tend to like school better.