By Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart, Jane Waldfogel
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Additional info for An Equal Start?: Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children
Dhuey, E. (2011) ‘Who benefits from kindergarten? Evidence from the introduction of state subsidization’, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol 33, no 1, pp 3–22. Dumas, C. and Lefranc, A. (2012) ‘Early schooling and later outcomes’, in J. Ermisch, M. Jantti and T. Smeeding (eds) From Parents to Children: the Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage, New York: Russel Sage Foundation, pp 164-88. Felfe, C. and Lalive, R. , Mimeo, University of St Gallen. Figlio, D. and Roth, J. (2009) ‘The behavioral consequences of prekindergarten participation for disadvantaged youth’, in J.
While the situation in the UK is challenging, the authors do offer some suggestions for improvements, including expanding maintained nursery classes to deliver the entitlement (including for two-yearolds), raising and equalising qualification levels across all settings, and extending supply-side subsidies to cover younger children, to make care affordable for parents. The Norwegian case, as described by Anne Lise Ellingsæter, provides an interesting contrast to the UK. Universal access to ‘kindergarten’ is legislated as a social right for children aged one to six, and indeed the great majority of children in this age group – 90% – are enrolled.
And, as in Australia, significant disparities in enrolment are evident, with low-income children and children of immigrants less likely than their peers to be enrolled, and less likely to be in formal school or centre-based care. Low-income children also attend care of lower average quality than that attended by higher-income children. The 20 Introduction authors discuss current policy initiatives to reduce disparities, including efforts to expand and improve the federal Head Start programme for low-income children, federal and state quality improvement efforts, and state and local expansions of prekindergarten programmes serving three- and four-year-olds.