Leveraging Information Interventions to Expand Access to Social Programs
Childcare services have important long-term effects on children’s human capital, and likely have important financial implications for low income families. For these reasons, state, local and federal programs provide subsidized childcare and school readiness programs. Yet, each program targets different populations with different eligibility requirements. For example, in Connecticut, there are federally funded Head Start programs, state funded School Readiness programs, and local programs, such as the free pre-kindergarten programs offered by interdistrict magnet schools in the New Haven Public Schools school district (NHPS). Given the many programs with varying eligibility requirements, families may not take advantage of resources available to them. This project aims to collect new data on what options families are aware of and how they respond to new information on free pre-kindergarten programs offered through NHPS. To begin, this project will survey families with children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old in suburban towns around New Haven to better understand their knowledge and utilization of subsidized childcare options. Next, surveyed families will be randomly provided additional information on free pre-kindergarten programs offered by NHPS. The intervention will then be evaluated by its impact on families applying to pre-kindergarten programs in the following two years.