Full-Day Kindergarten Expansions and Maternal Employment

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


This study explores the effect of full-day kindergarten expansions on maternal labor supply. Because full-day kindergarten provides subsidized childcare—providing approximately three additional hours of public schooling relative to half-day kindergarten—mothers may be made more available for labor market participation as a result of availability. In addition, women may avoid a disruption in their labor market attachment associated with the half-day kindergarten schedule. This project seeks to investigate both the intensive and the extensive margins of labor supply. Using event study and triple-differences methods, this study will contribute to our understanding of the factors that influence mothers’ entry into, exit out of, and attachment to the labor force. While full-day kindergarten provision has rapidly expanded in the United States, policy discourse about its availability—and other early childhood programming more broadly—has largely ignored labor force implications. In addition to evaluating the educational outcomes of such policy changes, labor market effects are clearly an important consideration in assessing their cost-effectiveness.