The impact of pre-school on adolescents' outcomes: Evidence from a recent English cohort
This paper investigates the relationship between attendance at pre-school school and children's outcomes into early adulthood. In particular, we are interested in: child cognitive development at ages 11, 14 and 16; intentions towards tertiary education; economic activity in early adulthood; a group of non-cognitive outcomes such as risky health behaviour; and personality traits. Using matching methods to control for a very rich set of child and family characteristics, we find evidence that pre-school childcare moderately improves results in cognitive tests at age 11 and 14, and 16. Positive effects are especially noticeable for girls and children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Results for non-cognitive outcomes are weaker: we do not find any significant evidence of improvement in psychological well-being, petty crime involvement, or on almost all health behaviours. While the cognitive effects may well serve to reduce lifecycle inequalities there is no support here for other important social benefits. (author abstract)
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