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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Preschool education: Who is attending and does attendance influence early school performance
Authors: Yap, M 
Biddle, N 
Publication Date: Jul-2008
Abstract: Early childhood education has long been identified as a key driver in child development throughout schooling years and beyond. However, until now, there has been little data to test the extent to which this holds in Australia and, more importantly, whether the benefits of preschool are consistent across the population. We use the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Children (LSAC) to investigate the importance of preschool in child schooling outcomes, as measured by literacy and numeracy in Year 1. The analysis involves a two stage estimation process. The first stage looks at who attends preschool, including individual, family, school and neighbourhood level circumstances on the probability of attending preschool amongst the 4-5 year old age cohort in the LSAC. The second stage considers whether preschool attendance is associated with better performance in literacy and numeracy in Year 1 after controlling for a range of other characteristics of the child. By using such a methodology involving two waves of the LSAC, we are better able to control for some of the selection effects that result from parents or guardians having some control over whether children attend preschool. We also test whether the general associations holds for minority groups of the population. We find a positive relationship between having attended preschool and a range of outcome measures. However, the strength of that relationship varies substantially depending on the measure used and the extent to which other characteristics of the child and their social and family settings are controlled for.
Conference: Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference: Families Matter
Conference location: Melbourne, Australia
Keywords: Education and Training -- Preschool; Education and Training
Research collection: Conference Presentations
Appears in Collections:Conference Presentations

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