Preschool attendance has been shown to not only benefit the later learning of an individual and her subsequent income, but to also provide external benefits to society. It is for these reasons that concern has arisen regarding the fact that the United States as a whole lags behind other OECD countries in preschool attendance. However, this deficit in attendance is not consistent across all types of children and locations. To better understand why, this paper offers a two-stage regression analysis of what influences the preschool attendance of three- to five-year olds using data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The findings of this paper can help guide the design of policy efforts expected to yield the greatest payout to increasing preschool attendance. The discovery of a positive influence of nearby available preschool slots on preschool attendance (after controlling for demand-based factors), that is greater in magnitude to influences detected for differences in education and income, suggests the desirability of public policies intended to increase this supply.
Also see his presentation at Sac State on the research during the monthly brownbags below.