The Impact of After-School Care on Maternal Labor Market Outcomes


This paper explores provincial variations in the pricing and provision of after-school care in Canada to study the effects of after-school care on maternal labor market outcomes. In 1998, the province of Quebec introduced a $5 per day subsidized before- and after-school care program for primary school children. Using the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), we adopt a triple-difference approach to compare the labor market outcomes before and after 1998 of mothers with primary school aged children versus childless women aged 50 and above who are ineligible for the program, in Quebec versus the Rest of Canada. Our results show that the reform effectively promotes maternal employment on the extensive margin but has no significant effect on employment intensity. In particular, maternal labor force participation and employment increased by 4.25 and 7 percentage points, respectively. These positive effects are driven by mothers with college degree and above, who increase their labor force participation and employment rates by 9.9 and 12 percentage points, respectively. Although the provision of lowcost pre-school childcare options has received much attention from policy makers, our findings indicate that low-cost after-school care is also important in promoting women labor force participation.

Working Paper
Laëtitia Renée
Laëtitia Renée
Department of Economics