IZA DP No. 722: Children's School Placement in Germany: Does Kindergarten Attendance Matter?
published in: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 2003, 18 (2), 255-270
The positive effects of early childhood programs on children's school success have been demonstrated in the literature. However, most studies were completed in the U.S.A., where early childhood programs vary widely, based on differing auspice, regulation, cost, and other factors. In European countries, early childhood programs are generally far more homogenous. This is particularly true for Germany where most programs are communitybased Kindergartens operated under similar structural conditions. In this study we examine the relationship between Kindergarten attendance and the 7th grade school placement of children in West Germany, differentiating associations for the children of German citizens as compared to those of immigrants. Using information from a representative population sample, the German-Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), different models were estimated. The results indicate that there is no significant correlation between Kindergarten attendance of children of German citizens and children’s later school placement. However, for children in immigrant households the reverse is true: later school placement is significantly associated with Kindergarten attendance prior to school enrollment. Additionally, the analysis shows that controlling for Kindergarten attendance changes the level of significance for other well-known "school attainment determinants," such as fathers’ education and household income.