The Effects of Childcare on Women and Children: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Burkina Faso

We study whether providing affordable childcare improves women's economic empowerment and child development, using data from a sample of 1,990 women participating in a public works program in Burkina Faso. Out of 36 urban work sites, 18 were randomly selected to receive community-based childcare centers. One in four women offered the centers use them, tripling childcare center usage for children aged 0 to 6. Women's employment and financial outcomes improve. Additionally, child development scores increase. However, we find no significant effects on women's decision-making autonomy, gender attitudes, or intrahousehold dynamics, suggesting the importance of considering multiple dimensions of childcare impacts.

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