Trade-offs between different early childhood interventions: Evidence from Ecuador

José Rosero and Hessel Oosterbeek

Using a discontinuity in the funding scheme, we evaluate the impact of home visits and child care centers on poor children and their mothers in Ecuador. We find that home visits are beneficial for children's cognitive outcomes and health and for mothers' psychological well-being but reduce mothers' labor force participation. In contrast, child care centers cause almost the exact opposite effects. Results are consistent with a framework in which child outcomes are determined by the quantity and quality of time inputs and in which mother's well-being depends on working hours and child outcomes.

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