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Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well‐Being

University of Toronto and National Bureau of Economic ResearchMassachusetts Institute of Technology and National Bureau of Economic ResearchUniversity of British Columbia and National Bureau of Economic Research

We analyze the introduction of highly subsidized, universally accessible child care in Quebec, addressing the impact on child care utilization, maternal labor supply, and family well‐being. We find strong evidence of a shift into new child care use, although some crowding out of existing arrangements is evident. Maternal labor supply increases significantly. Finally, the evidence suggests that children are worse off by measures ranging from aggression to motor and social skills to illness. We also uncover evidence that the new child care program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower‐quality parental relationships.