Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Access to Head Start and maternal labor supply: Experimental and quasi-experimental evidence


We explore how access to Head Start impacts maternal labor supply. By relaxing child care constraints, public preschool options like Head Start might lead mothers to reallocate time between employment, child care, and other activities. Using the 1990s enrollment and funding expansions and the 2002 Head Start Impact Study randomized control trial, we show that Head Start increases short-run employment and wage earnings of single mothers. The increase in labor supply does not appear to reduce quality parent-child interactions. Viewing Head Start as a bundle of family-level treatments can shed new light on the impacts of the program beyond children. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection.

Experimental evidence of the effect of Head Start on mothers' labor supply and human capital investments

Reports & Papers

The effects of family policy on maternal labor supply: Combining evidence from a structural model and a quasi-experimental approach

Reports & Papers

Head Start united: Removing barriers to access for children and families

Reports & Papers
Release: 'v1.40.0' | Built: 2023-11-07 08:40:06 EST