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Does more free childcare help parents work more?

Brewer, Mike and Cattan, Sarah and Crawford, Claire and Rabe, Birgitta (2022) 'Does more free childcare help parents work more?' Labour Economics, 74. p. 102100. ISSN 0927-5371

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Many governments are considering expanding childcare subsidies to increase the labour force participation of parents (especially mothers) with young children. In this paper, we study the potential impact of such a policy by comparing the effects of offering free part-time childcare and of expanding this offer to the whole school day in the context of England. We use two different strategies exploiting free childcare eligibility rules based on date of birth. Both strategies suggest that free part-time childcare only marginally affects the labour force participation of mothers whose youngest child is eligible, but expanding from part-time to full-time free childcare leads to significant increases in labour force participation and employment of these mothers. These effects emerge immediately and grow over the months following entitlement. We find no evidence that parents adjust their labour supply in anticipation of their children’s entitlement to free childcare.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Labour supply; Childcare; School entry
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 12:46
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:34

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