Investing in Early Childhood Education and Care in Kyrgyz Republic

An Assessment of Care Deficits, Costs, and Impact on Employment, Gender Equality, and Fiscal Returns
Expansion of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services for all is a matter of the choices made regarding the allocation of public resources. As such, it is as much an issue of children’s well-being and gender equality as it is an issue of economic policy and fiscal allocation. This study—authored by Institute scholars Ipek Ilkkaracan and Kijong Kim as a joint production of the Macroeconomic Team of the Economic Empowerment Section at UN Women and UN Women’s Country Team in Kyrgyz Republic—contributes to the policy debate on ECEC expansion in Kyrgyz Republic, particularly from a fiscal policy perspective that focuses on potential short-run economic returns.
Following in the footsteps of recent country policy studies, this research report estimates the required increase in public expenditures on ECEC centers according to different policy scenarios specific to Kyrgyz Republic. The report estimates short-run, demand-side economic returns regarding employment creation, the gender employment gap, and the fiscal sustainability of the initial outlay of expenditures through increased tax revenues. The simulation for ECEC service expansion is compared to the counterfactual scenario where fiscal expenditure of identical magnitude is allocated toward physical infrastructure and construction projects, a common target sector for public spending.

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