Monday, April 3, 2017
The Impacts of New York City's Universal Prekindergarten Program on the Health of Low-Income Children
Prior research suggests that high quality universal pre-kindergarten
(UPK) programs can generate lifetime benefits, but the mechanisms
generating these effects are not well-understood. In 2014, New York
City made all 4-year-old children eligible for high-quality UPK
programs that emphasized developmental screening.
This study examines the effect of this program on the health and
healthcare utilization of children enrolled in Medicaid using a
difference-in-regression discontinuity design that exploits both
the introduction of UPK andthe fixed age cut-off for enrollment.
The introduction of UPK increased the probability that a child
was diagnosed with asthma or with vision problems, received
treatment for hearing or vision problems, or received a screening
during the prekindergarten year. UPK accelerated the timing of
diagnoses of vision problems.