The Effects of Universal State Pre-Kindergarten on the Child Care Sector: The Case of Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program May 25, 2016 By Daphna BassokLuke MillerEva Galdo The Effects of Universal State Pre-Kindergarten on the Child Care Sector: The Case of Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program Over the past two decades states have drastically increased their investments in pre-kindergarten programs. One major question about state investments in early childhood education programs is to what extent these initiatives create new child care options rather than crowd-out existing private child care options. We investigate this issue using Florida’s universal pre-kindergarten program (VPK), a national leader with respect to preschool access, as a case study. Leveraging a 9-year panel of data we find that the introduction of Florida’s VPK program expanded the size of the state’s licensed child care market by 13% relative to the predicted market size. Using a synthetic control difference-in-difference approach we also show that VPK led to an increase in the percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in formal care but a drop in the percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in these settings. Implications are discussed. Economics of Education Review Areas of focus Education Daphna Bassok Daphna Bassok is an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia and is also the Associate Director of EdPolicyWorks a joint collaboration between the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Read full bio Luke Miller Eva Galdo Related Content Daphna Bassok Measuring the Quality of Teacher-Child Interactions at Scale: The Implications of Using Local Practitioners to Conduct Classroom Observations Research Are Parents’ Ratings and Satisfaction with Preschools related to Program Features? Research This study examines whether parents’ overall satisfaction with their child’s early childhood education (ECE) program is correlated with a broad set of program characteristics, including (a) observational assessments of teacher-child interactions; (b) structural features of the program, such as teacher education and class size; (c) practical and convenience factors (e.g., hours, cost); and (d) a measure of average classroom learning gains. It then describes associations between parents’ evaluation of specific program characteristics and externally collected measures of those features. UVA Honors Its Leading Researchers at Boar's Head Banquet News The inaugural Research Achievement Awards featured University leaders handing out 13 honors to UVA’s most outstanding researchers, including Batten's Daphna Bassok and Brian Williams. With a Kindergarten Teacher’s Perspective, Professor Pushes Early Childhood Education News Daphna Bassok first became acutely aware of the importance of early childhood education when she taught in a kindergarten classroom. The difference in readiness between the children who came into her classroom with preschool experience and those without was striking, she said.