The Impacts of Childcare Interventions on Children’s Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review

Center-based childcare programs are expanding rapidly in low- and middle-income countries. While the impacts of these programs on women’s labor market outcomes are consistently positive, what are the impacts on children’s developmental outcomes? We systematically review 71 studies of center-based childcare interventions that report impacts on children and find that most (93 percent of studies and 81 percent of estimates) have positive point estimates. Girls tend to benefit more than boys, but poorer children do not consistently benefit more or less than wealthier children. These results are consistent across experimental and quasi-experimental studies.

This article is forthcoming in the May 2024 issue of the AEA Papers and ProceedingsIt was originally published as a CGD working paper in January 2024. It was updated in March 2024. The original version can be viewed here.

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