Is day care bad for kids, especially well-off kids?

Exploiting admission thresholds to the Bologna daycare system, we show using RDD that one additional daycare month at age 0–2 reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.7% of a s.d.) at age8–14 in a relatively affluent population. The magnitude of this negative effect increases with family income. Similar negative impacts are found for personality traits. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis from psychology that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, with negative effects in families where such interactions are of higher quality. We embed this hypothesis in a model that lends structure to our RDD.

Here is the forthcoming JPE article by Margherita Fort, Andrea Ichino and Giulio Zanella.  And here are various ungated versions.  (Do any of you have the links handy for other papers with similar results?  They do exist.)

Quick quiz, we should:

a. Subsidize day care heavily

b. Not subsidize day care, or

c. Wait and see until more evidence is in.

Who is passing and failing this quiz?  How about you?

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Day care is a service provided to an individual or family and has no public-good or externality justification for a subsidy. We should do nothing about day care. We should help the needy by giving them money with which they can purchase day care if they think it is to their advantage.

Daycare is of high utility for poorer parents and their kids, and critical for single, poor parents because it can allow them work.

Tyler is failing his own quiz by not adding a response that includes heavily subsidizing daycare for lower income people specifically. And no, not indirectly by just giving them cash.

Why should poor people be working. If your wage is lower then the cost of daycare, going to work is bad for society.

Exactly- a true lose-lose.

It makes perfect sense to make all day care tax-deductible for double-earners, since you can't work without it and it would allow parents to specialize, with highly productive parents workign out of the home and less productive people working in child care, boosting economic activity and actually increasing revenue.

The only argument against that would be if there are negative effects on children.

But the alternative for most families is not to take care of kids at home, but to not have them at all.

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The problem is daycare costs are artifcally inflated by various government regulations, such as educational credentials required. There's no real reason why taking care of children in a day care should require an education degree, but that's what many states require.

That’s a problem, it’s not the problem. Making daycare cheap is not going to stop it being bad.

The primary purpose of day care is a service to the parents. It's really just about having someone competent entertain your kid while you do other things. Any educational benefit your kid gets is a bonus.

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Which states are those? I wasn't aware of any such states.

Random sample:
https://www.preschoolteacher.org/vermont/
"The preschool teacher certification requirements in Vermont state that all preschool teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development or a closely related field."

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Daycare quality matters, other studies show this. Not that govt regulations necessarily improve it, but for example daycare is much better in Norway where teachers have masters degrees and the average child to teacher ratio is lower.

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Your response seems to ignore the negative impact of unemployment on an individual's psyche and the compounding effect that has on the development of the children in question.

Caring for children is not unemployment

+1

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+1

to Jan, that is. asdf should walk to the end of where his argument leads and see if he/she likes the consequences...

I like them plenty. It would be spectacularly wasteful to give free daycare to poor people so they can go to work at retail stores and the like.

So, daycare is a leg up for impoverished kids and a step down for kids from well-resourced families. That's an inconvenient truth.
Could it herald the end of support for "universal" preschool? It should.
And, it should also help us focus on what does work. For starters, Headstart. The Headstart model targets public resources to the under-resourced kids who actually benefit from them. We need to expand Headstart, in its present form, to include more needy kids. It's nice to think society gets paid back with more working parents, but that's beside the point.
Research shows it's sound social, as well as fiscal, policy to provide free, quality daycare to poor children. Daycare builds both their immediate and long term academic and social/emotional capacity -- again, for under-resourced kids. Not well-resourced kids.
https://highscope.org/perry-preschool-project/
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2003-11113-001
Universal pre-k promoters will argue that expanding Headstart, and programs like it, is facile. The growing body of evidence says it's like hitting the nail on the head.

"That's an inconvenient truth."

You mean unfounded speculation? And are we talking about resources or temperament? I imagine many poor Asian immigrants do a great job raising their own children without having to outsource it.

Current state of the evidence: https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/11/13/preschool-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/

Preschool for poor children is very expensive, so if the justification is that poor people are bad parents, you better be right about it.

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Tyler always fails his own quizzes. This is what happens when an ideology follower uses faulty science to justify his mistakes.

Partisan hacks fail the Straussian quiz again. And fail the Turing test. Again.

The only non failing answer is C. Null hypothesis in education (to include daycare) goes both ways.

Fin.

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So subsidize poor single mothers even more. What could possibly go wrong?

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+1

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There is a positive externality for Americans having more children as long as our fertility rate is below 2.1

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Answer: substantial child tax credit for young children (under 2) that decreases with age. Families can use it to pay for daycare or allow one spouse to stay at home more, or both.

Make it non-refundable and we've got a deal.

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D. Subsidize one parent staying at home with kids.

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Hard working and educated people will soon stop having children, because it is a huge burden for the mothers. If we want to have future generations (who will pay for our retirement), then we better provide some help, and spread out the costs.
So either provide free daycare, or paid family leave. Later might be better for the kid, but the former is certainly better for the economy, especially if the mother is highly educated.

If she's highly educated, why does she need the government to pay for her daycare?

Because high education = high opportunity cost of providing childcare yourself.

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Why do they NOT need it? If they stay Home with the kids, their skills are irrelevant, they don’t use it.

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Highly educated != wealthy. People have student loans, and even those without them start with relatively little savings. They are high potential but haven’t realized it yet.

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If she's highly educated, why do we need government to pay for the daycare instead of giving her money? If she's highly educated, shouldn't we expect her to make the right decision?

They do. The economically reasonable decision is to keep the high paying job, and skip having kids. That’s what these people do, and that is the problem.

Lower class don’t care because basic welfare is comperable with their original income. People with rich family don’t care either. The hard working middle class people are the ones who lose their jobs and salaries, without replacement.

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Full deductibility for child care for two-earner households is the answer.

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Subsidize nothing. Also, "Similar negative impacts are found for personality traits. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis from psychology that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults" I thought kids needed socialization with other kids, now they get too much? Make up your mind.

Overall, the kids are better off home with Mom. Reality intervenes sometimes, but that doesn't mean they aren't.

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Day care is a wage subsidy for people with children (specifically mothers) - and one of the factors resulting in employment fall offs for prime age men.

There have been no such employment fall offs.

Yep - sorry you must be right - after all why would organisations like the OECD and national agencies bother collecting data that shows this when all they had to do was ask you.

That you fancy your comments are in any way enlightening is a mystery I am disinclined to solve.

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I'm beginning to lose confidence in the research reporting on this blog. Pick a controversial subject, noisy study with results that may or may not generalise and effect sizes that may or may not have policy implications. Then cherry pick a quote that confirms Tyler's audience's prejudices without reporting any of the caveats and possibly contradictory results.

Based on this article, we should subsidise early age childcare for less affluent families. At least in Bologna, Italy. Based on morals and our need to express the best of humanity (rather than the most efficient), we should make it free for all.

The research "reporting" on this blog has long been an absolute disaster, and the only reason to stick around is if you take pleasure in mocking it.

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Yes, it is very sad to see the person who popularized the term "mood affiliation" fall prey to doing it so often. Unless Tyler is being "Straussian" here and the only actually non-failing response to his quiz is to wait for more data.

But even then, the study misses the point of the debate over child-care subsidies entirely. This study is about wealthy children, and very pointed shows that the effect is stronger the wealthier the family. And the point about child care is to ease financial and emotional burdens on the NON wealthy. This study suggests that negative effects there on IQ would be extremely small or nonexistence, and so this data is a non sequitur on that debate.

Ad hominem.

Liberals always jump to emotionalizing.

See? We can do it too.

One study, possibly non replicable. In the 1/100 chance this study replicates strongly across culture and race, the answer to poverty would be to subsidize stay at home mothers.

It won’t replicate. Success is determined in the womb, at least in 21st century America.

So if this is a subject where people are cherry picking results to get their desired conclusions, is there some course of action that would help us not get fooled by the cherry-picking?

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Reporting an interesting study suddenly becomes advocacy, in the mind of the rabid partisans.

"This study suggests that negative effects there on IQ would be extremely small or nonexistence"

Does it though?

"Reporting an interesting study suddenly becomes advocacy, in the mind of the rabid partisans."

+1, Tyler reports on a lot of interesting things. That doesn't mean he's an advocate. It just means he's willing to read and post about almost anything.

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"I'm beginning to lose confidence"

Have you ever had confidence in this blog? It is pure ideology coming from a cherry picker. One paper says....

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Much of the stuff lately is little better than phoned-in click bait. It's really awful and embarrassing. I reckon he's either gotten lazy insular and arrogant; is trolling his audience for fun and getting his freak on; or is field testing half baked ideas for columns.

otoh
its a lotta better thanna this mornings post modern nyt bullshit
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/04/opinion/sunday/likeable-elizabeth-warren-2020.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

the nyt sez likability/unlikability is inherently sexist

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4. Paid parental leave covering the 0-2 age span, so as to provide more opportunities for one-to-one interactions with adults, regardless of income level.

Sort of like Sweden, which provides for 480 days total. 'For 390 of the days, parents are entitled to nearly 80 per cent of their normal pay. Benefits are calculated on a maximum monthly income of SEK 37,083, as of 2015. The remaining 90 days are paid at a flat rate. Those who are not in employment are also entitled to paid parental leave.

Parental leave can be taken up until a child turns eight. The leave entitlement applies to each child (except in the case of multiple births), so parents can accumulate leave from several children.

Outside the 480 paid days, parents in Sweden also have the legal right to reduce their normal working hours by up to 25 per cent until the child turns eight. Do keep in mind, however, that you get paid only for the time you work.' https://sweden.se/society/10-things-that-make-sweden-family-friendly/

So they must have a massive birth rate right?

Yes (at least relative to other Western European countries).

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I see your point and think you may be partly right, but I read the behavior as the sort of contrarianism that leads readers review unexamined views. I'm sure there is much former literature on the effects of daycare, and you're right: we shouldn't just overturn that with just one study. But maybe we'll also find that the evidence we thought we had was always pretty flimsy but unchallenged. For such situations, contrarians with popular blogs sometimes perform a valuable service.

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No subsidy, no paid leave. There is already a tax break.

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We should adjust work schedules so when father works, mom is home with kids, vice versa.

You may want to balance this against a correlated rise in the divorce rate.

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Split the difference and get 14 year olds to run child care centers with small numbers of children per 14 year old. This way the young children with have lots of interactions with semi-adults.

Basically, the way a large family with 8 kids or so works. Deputise the older ones

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That's a great idea.

I've been thinking lately that one of the big problems with US education is the separation into age groups, so younger students get very little chance to learn from older students. So they don't get to see how their work today is important tomorrow or five years from now.

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I accept the findings in this study if for no other reason than logic: a child with day care provided by a parent gets way more attention than a child with day care provided by a non-parent in a (sometimes large) group of children. Of course, it depends on the parent: as indicated by this study, a child with parents who are relatively affluent (which one can read to mean relatively more intelligent) suffers greater harm in day care. Most of my friends have been relatively affluent, and those with children who went to day care because both parents worked did not perform as well in school as those with children who did not go to day care because one parent stayed at home. But what's the causation? The difference may be due to the difference in parenting: the parent who stayed at home did so because of a greater commitment to parenting (i.e., even if one of the parents who worked had stayed home, there would still be a difference because the parent who did stay home did so not for reasons of parenting but for other reasons).

As for public subsidies for day care, I'm not confident that the benefit will go to the parents who work rather than the day care business (i.e., the subsidy will be captured by the business via a higher rate).

Great points on causation and I'd add that if this idea that the number of adult interactions between ages 0-2 positively impacts intelligence is true...second, third, etc kids should be a lot dumber than their oldest sibling. Cuz daycare or no the second kid is not getting anywhere near the attention the first kid got at 0-2. If you don't think that's the case you've either never had kids or are badly deceiving yourself.

I don't know about a lot dumber, but that they're a little dumber is a well known effect (although there are plenty of potential explanations other than divided parental attention):

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/21/science/21cnd-sibling.html

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Let's accept the study as correct. If our view is that government funded childcare is a good in itself (as many leftists seem to believe) then they will want to see if the effect persists into adulthood. Many studies are done which shows that increases and decreases in IQ in childhood are temporary. So we need a longer term study for those folks.

For me the result would not prevent me from sending my children to daycare (if they were not grown up) because the effect on any individual child would not be measurable, and probably wouldn't persist.

Really? A 0.5% drop in IQ PER MONTH wouldn't be measurable?

Ok you are correct, I thought it was just a total IQ loss of 0.5%. So for kids who go to day care between 0 and 2 vs don't this causes a total loss in IQ of 12 points? Color me sceptical of these results - I simply don't believe it.

Yes the effect size seems implausibly large

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Yes this effect is very large. I was immediately skeptical. On the other hand, it would be ridiculous to discount a result because it has to fit into a narrow band between believability and significance. I look forward to additional research.

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If we are employing normal academic procedures, the answer is that we should suppress this paper, and deny employment to the authors, because they are attempting to deprive women of equality and economic opportunity.

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The conclusion of this study is to make every parent affluent.

Simple.

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C, From the paper: “ ...the loss of child iq is more than compensated by an increase of household consumption.”

Let parents decide if they would rather have smarter children or more money.

"the loss of child iq is more than compensated by an increase of household consumption"

WTF does that mean? Are they saying increased consumption increases IQ in a counteracting effect (can't be true) or parents are okay with their kids being stupider because they get to buy more stuff??

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This quote from the paper imports some value assumptions that I'm not comfortable with.

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How do the authors prove cause-and-effect, as distinct from correlation?

Addendum to my comment above: the other reason to stick around is hilarious posts from commenters, such as this one.

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It's a problem that will be solved as jobs are taken over by technology.

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Even when parents do want to leave their kids with someone, they prefer home daycares (individual providers watching only a few kids) to Daycare Inc. where some megacorp hires the cheapest disinterested wage earners they can and then shuffles your kid through a bureaucratic mess. I filled out several forms a day every day in Daycare Inc. My kid wasn't as happy. And I was constantly being told to pick them up in the middle of my workday because of the slightest sniffle. By contrast home daycare had no forms, reasonable common sense procedures, and my kid loved it.

Of course whenever we get "free daycare" you know it's going to be the Daycare Inc kind.

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Is parenting good for kids?

Is parenting good for parents?

--and what of parenting itself: "the begetting of children so that they may be raised by someone else"?

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Half a point of IQ is not a lot to hang your hat on.

(I figure IQ averages 100, one percent is one point, half a percent is half a point, right?)

Lol.

Math is tough huh?

It must be if so many waste time of the significance of this study.

I guess you went to daycare? Kidding.

Think about something normalized around 100 and ponder why percentages are only relevant to the specific base student in mind, and why that cannot be applied in a “point” base across the board.

CSU Long Beach!

You took the null result above and try to argue the opposite here.

Pure troll.

Though you were also wrong above.

Answer "C" asks you to accept this as the only prior on the utility of child care, and that you need more experiment, even though:

https://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2018/09/13/457839/release-new-poll-finds-overwhelming-support-increasing-investments-quality-affordable-child-care/

Oh, have we moved on from 1% of 85 is 1 already?

You are an embarrassment. Sometime I wonder why you seem incapable of grasping logical verbal arguments.

I won’t wonder anymore. 1% of 85 is 1. 1% of 150 is 1. 1% of anything is the average of that thing. You retarded, CSU grad, filled with idiocy and incompetence.

A fool. And a hateful one. That will be your epitaph.

Looks like you are the angry one here. That means you are losing.

Liberals say 200/1 = 1
Others say 100/1 = 1

I guess when you outvote us you can have any pseudo reality you want.

Catholicism can give you pointers.

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0.5% PER MONTH

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"with negative effects in families where such interactions are of higher quality" could be interpreted as an argument in favour of "higher quality" day care centre employees.

Yes, I'm confused by the seeming assumption abovethread that he wants affluent women to sink or swim, career-wise and daycare-wise, without any thumb on the scale. That doesn't sound very Tyler-ish to me.

I would expect his contrarianism runs more toward the notion that we just need a "high-quality childcare" moonshot, that it's almost within our grasp. (Which is to say, not contrarian at all.) I'll be fascinated to see out of what clay we create this army of *very* educated, caring women who, while of course duly honoring the idea that homemaking in the service of rearing of one's own children is mind-numbing and passé, are eager to employ their talents in the exciting field of childcare, where most of your day will, for practical reasons, be spent in one very bleach-y room.

As to the quiz: subsidy, no subsidy - a, b, c all equal "go on doing more of what we're doing," so no Straussian worries.

AND ANOTHER THING: this really stuck in my craw the other day. Y'all kvetched about how boring your little kids are to you, at least after you've grabbed those first few adorable photos of the day. In particular, you said, you find playing games with moppets boring because they don't follow the rules, have to win, etc. And indeed you are not wrong: it is not really possible to play a game for long in a spirit of anarchy. It is dull for adult and child (apparently I've met some of y'all's kids at the local school, during indoor recess: where I discovered that game-playing ability - not, at one time, at least in my recollection of my own childhood, a skill belonging only to the high of IQ - has severely atrophied). Play games as designed, or don't play: please do not teach them that the outcome of a silly game - or just whose turn it is! - merits calling up hurt feelings. You're doing them no favors. Perhaps a few of them will someday learn to play games properly, but in the meantime you've effectively spoiled an activity that can indeed make time pass for whoever their caregiver is. There was an excellent variant of gin rummy that was so involving that when my child spent the night with his grandmother, we might find their scores next day approaching 5,000. Admittedly, I was fortunate in not having this problem with sportsmanship - even as a toddler, he saw no reason to make a game pointless by deviating from the rules in order to "win", from our early days of "Go Fish" with a special pack of fish cards (so sweetly: "Do you have ..... [long pause as he grinned from one of us to the other, trying to use some sort of kiddie mindmeld] ... a ... debblefish?") to Yahtzee and Sorry, good tot games, and Concentration, at which he soon overmastered me; to chess, introduced around four, though there, it's true, it wasn't long before he went out of his way to avoid placing me in check so as to prolong the game. Only at Scrabble did we have an edge, until he was about 10 or eleven. One game we played without respect to winning or losing, called Rivers Roads and Rails, primarily because we none of us understood the rules; and all found relaxing and enjoyable the simple laying out of the cards. Labyrinth, Mastermind, Boggle, Connect Four, and Stratego are other favorite games for little ones, but multiple decks of playing cards can supply plenty of games. tl;dr if you can't pass a reasonably amusing (for both) hour with your child playing a game, you're doing something wrong.

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No subsidies or cash payments (it's' redistribution of income and other people's money). The parent, typically the mother, should be a full-time stay-at-home mom until all the kids have finished high school. It's cruel and a breach of trust putting your kids in daycare to be raised by others. Nothing beats full-time parental love. You might lose an extra income but it's worth in the long run and there's less stress in the family when mom stays at home and dad can focus on making money. Middle to lower-middle class couples can do it, as long as they don't buy new cars every few years, go on expensive vacations every summer and spring break, and, the big one, as long as the mom is not a big shopper.

Sounds nice, but it might be important to remember that there are 80 million hourly workers in the US. That is a majority of working adults.

Thread, which might not support "let them eat payday loans":

https://twitter.com/andrewchen/status/1124828242416783360?s=19

We’re just proud you can count to 80.

A solid investment, normalized to California.

Of course the real subsidy here is to unmarried/unattached mothers. This is the base of the Democrat Party in 2019.

When you feel you're losing, go ad hominem.

Pure troll.

If you think everyone else is a troll... you might be the troll

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How many IQ points do affluent, educated, ambitious women lose when they transition from a corporate role to stay-at-home mom role?

Pretty much all of them. Stay at home really dumbs the adult down no question

Bullshit.

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Each family should fend for itself. Each car should build its own road.

I’m still waiting for your contact information regarding the living wage jobs and low interest short term loans you had available. It’s been almost two months now.

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The policy TC hints at is increasing day care subsidies for poor families and withdraw day care subsidies for affluent families.

The big counter point is a big technocratic government should want the happy successful affluent families to have more children and the poor, problem families to have less children. That is controversial, but at the very least, government shouldn't steer things in the opposite direction.

A second counter point is that affluent parent's time and labor is more valuable than poor parent time and labor. A free market economy addresses this organically, but the suggested government intervention would act in the opposite direction.

A third counter point is when government gives subsidies to some families, ultimately those costs are paid for by other people and other families. Politicians hype the benefits and hide the costs, but that doesn't change the reality. Morally, there is just a modesty in how much we can ask the affluent families to sacrifice.

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d. it depends on the policy objective

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b. Don’t subsidize day care. Why should we? The burden of proof is on the one arguing for a subsidy.
Affluence is a proxy for intelligence - smarter people earn more. Children benefit from one-on-one interactions with smart adults. Parents with a graduate degree who decide to work instead of spending the day with their child and possibly sacrifice a few IQ points make their own decision, no need for government to interfere. For many parents, the desired interaction could be replicated in the daycare center by improving the ratio of caregivers to children. This could potentially be a target for subsidies, but why should IQ management be a justification for redistribution (as all subsidies are)? There are studies that show that children that are exposed to animals have a lower incidence of allergies. Should we therefore subsidize pets?

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Scott Alexander (of course) does quite a decent post on pre-school (specifically the Head Start program) with something of a lit review about half-way down -- links included. Not solely day care, but there is some cross over.

https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/11/13/preschool-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/

Excellent.

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This line was good:

" and it’s encouraging that he tries this, given that I’m used to reading papers by social psychologists who treat robustness checks the way vampires treat garlic."

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a. Subsidize day-care heavily.

The paper found no negative effect on boys, smallish effect on girls from high-income families. The large majority of kids going to subsidized daycare in the U.S. will be boys + girls from middle/low income families. Also, see Emily Oster's new book Cribsheet, for a summary of literature on daycare. Basically, no negative effects. Starting from this prior, and making a small update in the direction of negative effects on affluent girls' IQ, things don't look too bad for subsidized daycare at all.

If there's no effect, why subsidize it?

Why subsidize it? To maximize women's freedom, by maximizing choice.

Even if that means enslaving others to pay for it.

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I like Emily Oster, but my take from listening to her (haven't read the book) is that she is acutely aware of every possible confounding variable except genes, which is a big one.

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I don't care as long as the people who want it pay for it. Keep your greedy hands out of my wallet.

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I find the effect size hard to believe on its face. Over a full standard deviation of IQ for leaving a kid in daycare for 2 years?

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Isn't the right answer that this study doesn't tell us anything about means-tested daycare, and our Bayesian needles should move away from Daycare for everybody?

I mean, that is the right answer, right?

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"We study the causal effect of time spent at age 0–2 in the high-quality public daycare system offered by the city of Bologna"

The city of Bologna? Truly this paper must be a troll.

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a. Subsidize day care heavily

Just take a look at Finland how to do it. Start school late at age of 7. Focus on social interaction before that. Only bachelor and master grade teachers at every level.

Info: Bologna is a city in Italy, not an arm of the milky way.

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The Founders should have included the separation of daycare and state.

Rats! I think Butler just destroyed the curve on the quiz.

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Wait. I thought intelligence was totally genetic. Turns out something as subtle as putting them in daycare has a measurable effect on IQ?

IQ effects exist but wear off over time as genetics start to dominate.

Finding an effect found in the study is not particularly surprising. Anyone with small children knows daycare is low-key torture for them. We accept it because it lets mom work, and she may feel a lot of social pressure to do so, she may really need the money (and earn more than the cost of daycare and taxes), and, she may prefer the office environment to being with her own children and other parents.

But the magnitude of the effect seems implausibly large. And it’s hard to imagine controlling for all the unobservables. People who use daycare are different in a lot of respects. And, as stated above, it’s likely childhood IQ effects wear off with time as genetics take over.

So put me in the “this won’t replicate well; the effect might be real but it’s likely very small and not enduring” camp.

"Anyone with small children knows daycare is low-key torture for them."

I spent a good chunk of time filling in at the (medium-quality?) school-affiliated daycare across the street. (There was always a lot of illness around, and a certain amount of chaos in the lives of daycare workers.) Note: a significant portion of the kids there, did *not* have working mothers. I found it strange, the thought of a mom dropping off her child at 7:30 or eight, and going straight back home to drink coffee or work out (clean house, shop?). In some cases it was a cultural thing: the moms came from places where it was not customary to spend the day with your children. In others - classroom ratio heavily skewed to boys - the children seemed like they were perhaps unusually difficult, torture for their parents to manage: which had its own effect on the room, and on the more sensitive within it ...

Your comment was certainly true for the children stuck in it all day long, growing crankier and crankier as the afternoon lengthened, the daycare providers plying them, the worse their behavior got, with snack after snack, at the hour when children with the good fortune to be at home are enjoying some downtime, or looking forward to eating dinner at 5:30 instead of 8 PM.

This effect can be seen even at the elementary school level. If you doubt, observe the differences in gait and affect of kindergarteners and 1st and 2nd graders at the close of what has already been a very long schoolday (much longer than the actual learning portion, as opposed to mom, requires). The children heading out the front door are jubilant. The little kids who detour away from their class's line to head to the cafeteria for district-provided "extended care" wear the look of condemned men. I was so glad recently to see that they're having the kids in that program bring bikes to school sometimes so they can head out into the neighborhood on a group ride. That after-school program really does have nice, fun young camp counselor-types. And still, it is, I believe, too much, too long a day for the younger ones.

Older kids can handle it and even tend to enjoy the camaraderie they've developed after years of after-school care. A friend of mine switched to working from home and announced to her upper-elementary kids they were henceforth free to come home themselves after school. After a week or so, they asked to return to their friends at extend-a-care.

My 3 year old loves being at preschool. 9AM-5PM. But then she's in a class with only 3 other kids, and I think 8 total, max (4 younger babies, 4 preschool age). So maybe the small class size and low student teacher ratio (2 teachers, 8 kids) makes it a more pleasant experience. Also, she doesn't get as much as opportunity to do arts and crafts at home, or play with other kids.

Ditto for my boy, a church pre-K class a couple mornings a week after the age of three was where friends were made, especially as we lived in an apartment with no other children about.

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To Peri's point, preschool is different from daycare. Three hours twice a week is a long way from eight hours every weekday. Perhaps your child is just trying to please you?

Also, the demographics of preschool are different, as daycare usually entails two working parents, while preschool has one parent working at most halftime. I suppose you sometimes have the daycare-and-a-nanny set, but I imagine those numbers are small.

I was a little confused there. I would call what you are doing (full-time mother-replacement child-raising) daycare, not preschool.

While I think that distinction is a common way to use the words, it's not universal.

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Yeah if this study is the real deal, it kinda punches a big hole in the 'blacks/Hispanics will always be stupid' thesis which is the whole point of being anti-immigration

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Make child care 100% tax deductible, perhaps up to limit.

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We should heavily heavily subsidize day care for the rich in order to reduce income inequality in subsequent generations.

Because their IQ will drop a bit? But it would be offset by the overall increase in high IQ people (if you assume rich people on average have higher IQ)

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d) Extend paternal leaves to 2 years.

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e) Reduce the age of retirement, to help grandparents to take care of grandchildren.

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