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Decline in preschool use in post-socialist societies (article preprint) : The case of Bulgaria

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posted on 2023-08-05, 08:41 authored by Lisa Giddings, Mieke MeursMieke Meurs

Childcare is often analyzed in its role as facilitator of women’s labour force participation. But for preschool aged children, childcare can also contribute importantly to human capital development, especially among poor children. By international standards, preschool enrollments were high under socialism. Since transition, however, enrollment rates have declined. This may leave large numbers of children without preparation necessary to succeed in school and to be included in the region’s post-socialist development. We examine changing dynamics of preschool enrollment in Bulgaria. We evaluate demand- and supply-side explanations for changing enrollments, and use municipal-level data to develop a simple, OLS model of municipal-level demand for preschool. We examine the impact of changing employment and earnings, proximity and perceived quality of childcare centers, and ethnic/cultural background. Through this model, we hope to broaden understanding of preschool enrollment decisions, and to assist policy makers in improving preschool attendance



Journal of European Social Policy


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