Measuring Childcare Arrangements in El Salvador

Last registered on September 20, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Measuring Childcare Arrangements in El Salvador
Initial registration date
September 14, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 20, 2023, 10:30 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
The World Bank

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Expanding access to quality childcare has the potential to yield multi-generational impacts by improving parents’ economic empowerment, child outcomes, family welfare, business productivity and overall economic growth. However, there is very limited data on childcare available and guidelines on how to collect it across low- and middle-income countries, particu¬larly for children below age 3, and this limits the possible assessment of access of childcare services in developing countries.

The objective of this project is twofold. First, it aims to advance the understanding of how to obtain better measures of childcare arrangements in developing countries using household surveys, including those informal childcare arrangements that can be overlooked but are crucial to families. Second, it will explore parents’ preferences on childcare services’ attributes.

The first goal will be addressed by designing and implementing a survey experiment to compare different methods to collect information on household surveys. The evidence on parents’ preferences on childcare services attributes will be obtained from a discrete choice experiment inspired in Datta (2019).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Contreras, Ivette et al. 2023. "Measuring Childcare Arrangements in El Salvador." AEA RCT Registry. September 20.
Experimental Details


Measuring childcare is difficult even in developed countries. For example, when measuring the time invested in childcare is important to consider that there are different levels of care depending on the ability of multi-tasking: primary childcare, secondary childcare, and time spent with children. (Allard, M. et al. 2007). In addition, parental investments are higher in the first years after childbirth; considering the decrease in the fertility rate that these countries had experienced, thus drawing conclusions with a small sample of households with children under 3 years of age could be challenging (Devercelli, A. and Beaton-Day, F. 2020).

Collecting data about childcare in developing countries has specific challenges: (1) more childcare informal arrangements could be present; (2) parental unawareness of childcare options can lead to an imperfect measure of the factors that affect the demand for childcare services (Mateo-Diaz, et al., 2013); and (3) cultural and social norms could play a role on childcare decisions (World Bank, 2022).

There are two interventions:
• Parents or caregivers of children under 8 years of age that live in households assigned to treatment group 1 will be exposed to a detailed survey module to collect information of all the different childcare arrangements that the children needed in the past 4 weeks.
• Parents or caregivers of children under 8 years of age that live in households assigned to treatment group 2 will be exposed to a module that captures all the child activities in the last 24 hours and the people that were with the child at each hour.

Moreover, all households will respond to a discrete choice experiment that aims to measure respondents' willingness to pay for childcare services attributes.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Number of childcare arrangements per child
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
For each of the children included in each of the groups we will estimate the number of childcare arrangements that each child needed in the last 4 weeks

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Willingness to pay for childcare services attributes.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Using Enumeration Areas (EAs) from the Salvadoran Population Census 2007 in rural and peri-urban areas of the provinces of San Salvador and Usulután, 48 EAs were randomly selected to participate in the study. A complete household listing has been conducted in the 48 EAs. In each EA, 21 households will be selected at random, and all households will be assigned to C, T1, or T2. The criterion used to screen the households is that the household includes at least one child under 8 years of age.

In each experiment arm comparable demographic and socio-economic data will be collected at the individual- and household-level. The data will be useful in exploring the heterogeneity of survey treatment effects.

Group status: Control group
Short module (main childcare arrangement)

Group status: Treatment group 1
Detailed modules on childcare (list of childcare providers) + Short module (main arrangement)

Group status: Treatment group 2
Child activities module+ Short module (main arrangement)
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer randomization for selection into experiment arms: C, T1, or T2.
Randomization Unit
Unit of randomization will be the household.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1008 households
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,512 caregivers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
336 households C, 336 households T1, 336 households T2
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Universidad Francisco Gavidia
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials