We examined the effects of child gender and siblings on center-based care enrollment in the context of China’s one-child policy and its tradition of preference to have many children, especially sons. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) 2000 wave and multilevel logistic regression models, we found that children without siblings consistently had higher odds of receiving center-based care than those with siblings, while there was no evidence that child gender mattered. Further analyses did not show evidence that the effects of child gender and siblings were moderated by household and community resources or local one-child policy. However, we did find that the presence of male, older, or school-age siblings (as compared to female, younger, or preschool-age siblings) reduced preschoolers’ odds of receiving center-based care. This was possibly because parents valued formal education much more than preschools and thus focused more on boys when they entered elementary schools than on their sisters or younger brothers. These findings suggest that more attention needs to be given to the equal education opportunities for boys and girls as well as for children with and without siblings.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 18, 2009
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