The Effect of Full Time Kindergarten on the Cognitive Development of Children: A Longitudinal Study

Bruno Casella, Università Bocconi
Valeria Edefonti, Università Bocconi

The rise in the proportion of working mothers over the past decades has attracted the attention of researchers on the effect of maternal employment on children's cognitive ability. Within this context, it is crucial to evaluate if alternative care providers are able to "surrogate" maternal care. In this work we use a hierarchical linear model to assess the effect of full-time kindergarten enrollment on the cognitive growth of children. Data are taken from a recent US study, The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, designed to provide information on a sample of about 22,000 children monitored from kindergarten to the end of primary school. The results show that, after controlling for a socio-economic variable, there is no significant difference between full-time and part-time kindergarten enrollment in terms of the cognitive growth of children.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Education, Gender, Religion, Language and Culture