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Childcare Indivisibility and Maternal Employment
Last registered on March 06, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Childcare Indivisibility and Maternal Employment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001415
Initial registration date
March 06, 2017
Last updated
March 06, 2017 9:29 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Universidad Alberto Hurtado
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2012-03-01
End date
2013-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This paper examines whether offering afterschool care for 6- to 13-year-old children has an impact on labor market outcomes among women in Chile with a randomized experiment. Effects on labor force participation and employment are found: program participation increases employment by 5% and participation by 7%. The program has stronger effects among women with young children who were ineligible for the program. At the same time, the program triggers the use of daycare for young (ineligible) children. The results are consistent with the indivisibility of childcare: all children must be eligible in order to break the childcare constraint.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Martinez A., Claudia and Marcela Perticará. 2017. "Childcare Indivisibility and Maternal Employment." AEA RCT Registry. March 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1415-1.0.
Former Citation
Martinez A., Claudia and Marcela Perticará. 2017. "Childcare Indivisibility and Maternal Employment." AEA RCT Registry. March 06. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1415/history/14690.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In order to evaluate the effect of offering free childcare services on women’s labor market outcomes in Chile, we randomly assigned vacancies in Programa 4 a 7 (“4-7 Program”), a publicly operated afterschool program. The program offers three hours of after-school childcare at educational institutions throughout the school year and aims to facilitate mothers’ participation in the labor force. Random assignment into the program was made possible by the fact that it was oversubscribed. Although the program was offered across Chile, only 25 schools were included in the evaluation. We then study if the offer of this vacancy has an impact on labor force participation, employment, or childcare via a follow-up household survey.
Intervention Start Date
2012-03-01
Intervention End Date
2012-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Female Labor Force Participation (FLFP)
- Mothers' employment
- Mothers' worked hours
- Mothers' income
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Chile’s 4-7 Program offers afterschool care within an educational establishment for boys and girls from 6 to 13 years of age while their mothers or caregivers are working, looking for work, taking training courses, or attending formal educational programs. Municipalities initially applied to participate in the program, and SERNAM (Servicio Nacional de la Mujer), which is the governmental body that both coordinates and finances the implementation of the program, selected municipalities based on whether there were other programs in the community, whether there were a large number of children in the eligible age range in municipal schools, and whether the municipality had a relatively high proportion of economically active women compared to the regional average. The selected municipalities had to select the educational establishments in which the program would be implemented from among municipal schools without existing childcare programs for working women. SERNAM’s central authority determined the number of beneficiary children at each institution, which ranged from 50 to 100 depending on local needs, local conditions, expected demand, and other factors. The number of children in the program determined the personnel assigned to it. The program was implemented after school hours, five days a week (Monday to Friday), starting in either March or April of 2012 and ending in December 2012.

In order to assess the quality of the intervention, a process evaluation was carried out in 2012 to gather quantitative and qualitative information about the program’s implementation. From November to December 2012, participating schools received visits during which details about session implementation, children’s attitudes towards the program, staff qualifications, and other topics18 were collected. In 2012, the program was run in 87 schools, with 6,750 vacancies made available. The experimentally designed evaluation was carried out in 25 schools that were offering the program for the first time in 2012.

Randomization was done at the mother/caregiver level among applicants at each school who met the eligibility requirements established by SERNAM. If an applicant was assigned to the treatment group, positions were offered to all children under her care. This was done in order to respect the program’s objective of helping women to work. Once instructors received the list of selected participants, they had to contact the mother/caregiver by telephone to inform her that her children could attend the 4-7 Program. Women had to sign registration and agreement forms in order to enroll their children. The application process and awareness-raising activities were carried out by SERNAM.

Stratified randomization was performed within each school, using two variables consistently reported in the literature as being strongly correlated with FLFP: labor history (measured by whether the applicant was working at the time of application) and the presence of young children (measured using a dummy variable equal to one if the applicant cared for children under 5 years old). This information was obtained from the application form. There are 973 women in the control group and 1,137 in the treatment group. The baseline data is obtained from the application form, while the endline data comes from a household survey (conducted between March and May 2013) in which women were asked about their 2012 labor history, employment characteristics, program participation, among other information.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization method was done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Mother/caregiver
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
2110 women across 25 schools.
Sample size: planned number of observations
2110 women across 25 schools
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment group: 1,137 women
Control group: 973 women
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2012, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
May 01, 2013, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
1,834 women
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1,834 women
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Treatment group: 982 women Control group: 852 women
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

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Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
This paper examines whether offering afterschool care for 6- to 13-year-old children has an impact on labor market outcomes among women in Chile with a randomized experiment. Effects on labor force participation and employment are found: program participation increases employment by 5% and participation by 7%. The program has stronger effects among women with young children who were ineligible for the program. At the same time, the program triggers the use of daycare for young (ineligible) children. The results are consistent with the indivisibility of childcare: all children must be eligible in order to break the childcare constraint.
Citation
Martínez, Claudia, and Marcela Perticará. "Childcare Indivisibility and Maternal Employment." Working Paper, December 2014.