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Early Childhood Education and Care Services and Child Development: Economic Perspectives for Universal Approaches C. Katharina Spieß In: Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource Hoboken : Wiley, 2017

Abstract:

This essay analyses universal early childhood education and care (ECEC) services from an economic perspective focusing on universal ECEC approaches. First, it examines the effectiveness of ECEC expansions, reviewing research using quasi-experimental approaches. It then discusses the possible mechanisms underlying the measured effects. These are related to both direct effects from ECEC services on children and indirect ones occurring via maternal employment and well-being. When ECEC-positive effects are detected, they mostly pertain to children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This raises the question as to whether this group of children is reached by universal ECEC services. The second part of the essay focuses on this issue, describing differences in ECEC attendance by socioeconomic background, distinguishing between different age groups and different aspects of ECEC attendance. The challenges for future research are summarized at the end.