Early Childhood

Introduction

The care and education of children under the age of 6 directly influence the labor market in three ways.

  1. Child care centers and preschools are employers whose labor-demand and employment practices influence labor market outcomes.
  2. Child care availability, quality, and costs affect parents’ participation in the labor market.
  3. Investments in preschool and early education have important labor market payoffs in the future, by affecting the “hard skills” and “soft skills” of former child participants.

Issues

  • How can public policy be used to support high-quality child care?
  • What are the primary means of providing child care and how do they affect the labor force participation of parents?
  • What are the economic returns to high-quality preschool?
  • What is the cost of providing universal high-quality preschool and how might it be financed?
  • What are the economic returns to other types of early childhood programs, such as parent visitation and other parenting programs?
  • How can the various economic returns to early childhood programs best be evaluated and measured?
  • What features of early childhood programs improve quality in a cost-effective way?

Selected Institute Research

Effects of the Pre-K Program of Kalamazoo County Ready 4s on Kindergarten Entry Test Scores: Estimates Based on Data from the Fall of 2011 and the Fall of 2012
Timothy J. Bartik, W.E. Upjohn Institute
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 13-198, June 2013

Investing in Kids: Early childhood Programs and Local Economic Development
Timothy J. Bartik, W.E. Upjohn Institute
Upjohn Press, 2011

Can pre-school save the economy? Timothy Bartik at TEDxMiamiUniversity
September 2012

Earnings Benefits of Tulsa's Pre-K Program for Different Income Groups (with William Gormley and Shirley Adelstein)
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-151, July 2009
The published version of this paper appears in Economics of Education Review 31(6): 1143–1161 (December 2012).

Distributional Effects of Early Childhood Programs and Business Incentives and Their Implications for Policy
Timothy Bartik, Upjohn Institute
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-151, July 2009

How Policymakers Should Deal with the Delayed Benefits of Early Childhood Programs
Timothy Bartik, Upjohn Institute
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-150, June 2009

By a Thread: How Child Care Centers Hold On to Teachers, How Teachers Build Lasting Careers
Marcy Whitebook, University of California-Berkeley
Laura Sakai, Research Consultant
Upjohn Institute Press, 2004

More Institute Research about Early Education


Useful Links

National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)

Partnership for America’s Economic Success (PAES)