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Publicly subsidized universal prekindergarten (pre-K) programs have received considerable attention in recent years as an avenue for both promoting school readiness and providing childcare. In this study, we will estimate the effects of Pre-K programs on children’s enrollment in preschool and on the labor supply (e.g., hours worked and wages) and welfare receipt of mothers. Each program has an age cutoff for enrollment. The methodology will employ exogenous differences in eligibility across states and from these age restrictions to create ‘treatment’ and ‘control’ groups which will be used to determine program effects. The dataset used will be the 2000 confidential decennial long-form sample.

The proposed project will increase the utility to the U.S. Census Bureau of the data it collects by satisfying Criteria 9 and Criteria 11. The project will produce valuable estimates for use in an academic journal article. Also, as was pointed out to us in discussions with Census Bureau officials in the Demographic Directorate program areas, the better understanding of family behavior regarding work and childcare produced by this project will allow for insight that could change the way the Census Bureau asks its questions regarding early childhood education and care.

Maria Fitzpatrick
Sarah Turner

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