The Demand and Supply of Early Education in Chile

Loreto Reyes, and Sergio Urzua , Estudios Públicos 126 , 46-86 , September 2012.

This is the first article analyzing the demand and supply of preschool education in Latin America, specifically in Chile. The importance of this topic is explained by the recent expansion of childcare public provision in Chile, the needs for understanding why/when/how parents decide whether to enroll their children (demand side), the role of the providers (supply side), and the challenges associated with the design of effective public policies in this critical area. The empirical analysis is carried out using several sources of information. We present evidence suggesting the existence of problems in the geographic distribution of childcare centers as well as the needs of better coordination between the two public providers (supply side). Our results also show that the distance to preschool centers, mother’s education and the employment situation among the family members are important elements determining parents’ enrollment decision.

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