Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Preschool Attendance and School-Age Profiles: a Revision

Cid, Alejandro and Borráz, Fernando (2013): Preschool Attendance and School-Age Profiles: a Revision. Published in: Children and Youth Service Review , Vol. 35, No. 5 (2013): pp. 816-825.

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Data collected from the Uruguayan household survey (ENHA) of year 2006 is used to provide more evidence and revision on the longer-term impact of pre-primary education on subsequent school attendance and accumulated years of education. In order to control for unobserved individual or household characteristics that may affect both the participation in a preschool program and the later educational attainment, we instrumented preschool attendance with average attendance rates by age in each locality. Previous research found a positive effect both on school attendance and accumulated years of education, and this effect magnify as children grow up. But, till 2006 survey, there’s no accurate data available to calculate properly the accumulated years of education a child should have and so the causality between preschool and the outcome accumulated years of education was only approximated. Thus, a major contribution of this paper is that for the first time, ENHA makes possible to work with real data on school grade repetitions (estimate accurately the possible lag in children education) and we find results which are different to previous findings. In sum, though preschool impacts positively on subsequent school attendance, preschool seems not to have an increasing impact on years of education as children grow up if we take into account new data on grade repetition. Also this paper broaden the scope of previous research adding data on rural areas and taking into account also children who do not live with both biological parents. Spreading out preschool education seems to be a successful policy option in a country with large drop-out rates but to cope with school grade repetition new options should be studied.

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