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Contribution to Book
Grandmothers, Formal Care, and Educational Advantage in China
Inequality Across Societies: Families, Schools and Persisting Stratification (Research in the Sociology of Education, Volume 14)
  • Susan Short
  • Rongjun Sun, Cleveland State University
Document Type
Contribution to Books
Publication Date
Among U.S. children, research indicates that early childhood experiences, including the child care environment, affect later educational outcomes. Yet, research on educational stratification in low-income countries rarely features the preschool years. We investigate the organization of child care among preschoolers in China. In-depth interviews reveal that grandmother care and formal care are highly desirable. Formal care, in particular, is perceived to provide educational advantage. Using China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data, and mixed random effects logit models, we explore the determinants of grandmother care and formal care. Results suggest poverty is associated with gender bias; in low-income households, boys without siblings are especially likely to receive formal care. These results call for greater attention to early childhood in research on educational stratification in China and other low-income settings.
Citation Information
Short, S.E., Sun, R. (2003). Grandmothers, formal care, and educational advantage in China. In D. Baker, B. Fuller, E. Hannum, and R. Werum (eds.) Inequality across societies: families, schools and persisting stratification (Research in the Sociology of Education, Volume 14), (p.7-31). Amsterdam: JAI.