Photo: Miriam Bratt
Photo: Miriam Bratt

Graduate Student Mattias Hallberg was recently interviewed about his research in Swedish magazine Förskolan.

In his research, he uses a Swedish child care reform in 2002 to estimate the causal effect of pre-school attendance on school performance at age 16. The reform increased pre-school availability for children with parents on parental leave with an infant sibling.

Using registry data on individuals born between 1993-2001 together with data from two national child care surveys, the effect of the reform on child care utilization and on the school performance at age 16 was estimated.

Results on a standardized test in mathematics increased with 0.06 standard deviations

Pre-school attendance increased with 23 percent and the results on a standardized test in mathematics taken at age 16 increased with 0.06 standard deviations for the populations that gained more access to pre-school (ITT). The results suggest that different sub-populations as male/female or those with foreign/domestic background benefited equally from the increased time in pre-school.

Previous research, both in Sweden and in Norway, has hinted at positive effects on children's learning and that the preschool age is important for developing mathematical skills. This study provides support for that.


To read the full interview (in Swedish), click here.

To read the research paper in full, click here.