Join Jo Blanden from the University of Surrey for this week's seminar.
16:00 - 17:30
Economics Common Room, 5B.206
Lectures, talks and seminars
Department of Economics External Seminar Series
Economics, Department of
In this Department of Economics seminar, Jo Blanden from the University of Surrey and the London School of Economics discusses her paper on The impact of free early childhood education and care on educational achievement: evidence on quality
Childcare quality is often thought to be important for children’s subsequent attainment at school. The English Government regulates the quality of early education by setting minimum levels of qualifications for workers and the grading of settings by a national inspectorate (Ofsted).
In this seminar, Jo Blanden uses administrative data to investigate the influence of quality on children’s educational using two approaches.
The first uses a standard regression framework and controls for children’s characteristics, peer composition in nursery and school fixed effects; it finds rather small associations between OfSted ranking, highly qualified workers and outcomes at age 5.
The second approach makes use of eligibility rules and an RDD to assess if an additional term spent in settings of different qualities has different benefits. Again, the influence of quality is rather limited. As an alternative approach to measuring quality we extract fixed effects for each early years setting.
While there are clear differences between nurseries, there is no evidence that spending an additional term at a nursery with higher ‘quality’ on this measure is particularly beneficial. In general, the English policy approach to encouraging quality has not proved to be very effective.