• Child care is said to be a public good because it supposedly has developmental and academic benefits for children, and increases female labour-force participation and therefore economic growth. Numerous reports state unequivocally—but often without providing supporting evidence—that more women would work if child care was cheaper and more easily available.
• The 2007 CIS Issue Analysis Child Care: Who Benefits? found little evidence that formal child care has lasting benefits for the broader population of children, and some studies have shown there is a risk of negative effects. This paper seeks to verify the claims about child care and female labour supply. It includes four major findings.