Should Grandparents Take Care of Their Grandchildren? The Effects of Grandparental Childcare on Early Language Development.

Morgan Kitzmann , Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Ariane Pailhé, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Lidia Panico, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Early childhood inequalities strongly predict later inequalities. Part of theses inequalities at the starting gate may be due to children’s different modes of childcare. Informal childcare, and particularly grandparental childcare, is often perceived as a low-quality mode of childcare. In this article, we investigate the effects of grandparental childcare on young children’s language development using data from the French birth cohort survey, the Etude longitudinale française depuis l’enfance. Our results show that grandparental childcare seems to have a positive effect on early language development compared to parental childcare. However, children taken care by their grandparents have lower language development scores compared to children in formal childcare.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth