Essays on children's cognitive and non-cognitive development
Metadata[+] Show full item record
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation consists of three essays on the same topic: Children cognitive and non-cognitive development. The first essay compares the performance of Head Start childcare centers to the performance of non-Head Start childcare centers, the latter being the preferred childcare option of wealthier families. We find that, on average, Head Start centers perform similarly to non-Head Start centers. Our results suggest that expectations for the Head Start program may be too high. The second essay examines the agreeability between mothers and caregivers in assessing the non-cognitive development of young children. Using caregiver assessments as a benchmark, we find that minority mothers provide consistently more-favorable evaluations of their children relative to white mothers. Holding race constant, mothers who raise their children in less-favorable family structures also provide more-favorable evaluations. The Third essay compares young children who do and do not enroll in kindergarten due to variation in state-level age-of-entry policies and shows that children who enrolled in kindergarten have much higher achievement in mathematics and reading relative to children who remained in childcare. This study suggests that delaying kindergarten entry meaningfully affects short-term human capital accumulation. The short-term loss is particularly large if children do not have a high-quality alternative to kindergarten, such as a well-designed pre-kindergarten program.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.