The impact of day-care participation during the first 3 years of life on the cognitive functioning of school age children was examined. 867 5- and 6-year-old children from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth who completed the 1986 assessment were included in the sample. The dependent measures were scores on the Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) subtests of mathematics and reading recognition.
School Age Children
This article assesses the consequences of poverty between a child's prenatal year and 5th birthday for several adult achievement, health, and behavior outcomes, measured as late as age 37. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1,589) and controlling for economic conditions in middle childhood and adolescence, as well as demographic conditions at the time of the birth, findings indicate statistically significant and, in some cases, quantitatively large detrimental effects of early poverty on a number of attainment-related outcomes (adult earnings and work hours).
Why parental socioeconomic status correlates strongly with various measures of child and adult achievement is an important and controversial research question. After summarizing findings from recent contributions to this literature, we conduct two sets of analyses using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Completed schooling and nonmarital childbearing are related to parental income during early and middle childhood, as well as during adolescence.
Although intensive early childhood interventions and high quality preschool programs have been shown to foster children's school readiness, little is known about the school readiness gains made by ethnically and linguistically diverse children in poverty receiving subsidies to attend center-based childcare or those in public school pre-kindergarten programs.
Academic achievement gaps between high- and low-income students born in the 1990s were much larger than between cohorts born two decades earlier. Racial/ethnic achievement gaps declined during the same period. To determine whether these two trends have continued in more recent cohorts, we examine trends in several dimensions of school readiness, including academic achievement, self-control, externalizing behavior, and a measure of students’ approaches to learning, for cohorts born from the early 1990s to the 2000–2010 midperiod.
This study compares the early life experiences of kindergarteners in 1998 and 2010 using two nationally representative data sets. We find that (a) young children in the later period are exposed to more books and reading in the home, (b) they have more access to educational games on computers, and (c) they engage with their parents more, inside and outside the home. Although these increases occurred among low- and high-income children, in many cases the biggest changes were seen among the lowest-income children.
Gaps in educational achievement between high- and low-income children are growing. Administrative data sets maintained by states and districts lack information about income but do indicate whether a student is eligible for subsidized school meals. We leverage the longitudinal structure of these data sets to develop a new measure of economic disadvantage. Half of eighth graders in Michigan are eligible for a subsidized meal, but just 14% have been eligible for subsidized meals in every grade since kindergarten.
After reaching 23 percent in 1993—the highest rate since 1964—child poverty (the percentage of children in families with income below 100 percent of the federal poverty level) fell to 16 percent in 2000. The rate then rose slowly through 2004, to 18 percent. Soon after, the child poverty rate began to reflect the most recent economic downturn. From 2006 to 2010, child poverty increased from 17 to 22 percent of all children under age 18, before declining from 2010 to 2017, to 17 percent.
Relations between nonrelative child care (birth to 4 1/2 years) and functioning at age 15 were examined (N = 1,364). Both quality and quantity of child care were linked to adolescent functioning. Effects were similar in size as those observed at younger ages. Higher quality care predicted higher cognitive-academic achievement at age 15, with escalating positive effects at higher levels of quality. The association between quality and achievement was mediated, in part, by earlier child-care effects on achievement.
As women approach parity with men in their representation in the U.S. labor force, child care has become a critical concern both for families and for community development professionals. In this paper, we review recent literature on parental child care decisions and on socio-economic differences in child care utilization. We contrast two bodies of theoretical and empirical research on the determinants of child care arrangements, comparing models of individual consumption choice with models of socially constructed or situated patterns of action.