”Long-run benefits from universal high-quality preschooling”.

Bauchmüller, R.
Gørtz, M.
Rasmussen, A.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 457-470.


The purpose of this study is to examine what the quality of preschool means for children’s performance in their final examination when they leave Danish municipal primary and lower secondary school as well as what structural quality parameters are most important for children’s educational performance later in life.


The study shows that three out of five indicators for quality have a significantly positive correlation with better marks in the subject Danish in the leaving exam. The three indicators are better child-adult ratio, larger percentage of male preschool teachers, and larger percentage of staff with a pedagogical qualification. Boys benefit more from high-quality preschools than girls. Ethnic minorities benefit more from staff stability. However, the correlations for all three indicators are relatively weak.


The authors use register data collected by Statistics Denmark on 30,444 children who finished their 10th year of school in 2008 and went to preschool in 1998. On average, the children were 6.1 years old in 1998 and about 15-16 years old in 2008. The data used in the article contains comprehensive information about the socio-economic background of the children and their parents, their ethnicity and the structural quality of the preschools. Structural quality was measured using five indicators: child-adult ratio, percentage of male preschool teachers, percentage of staff with pedagogical qualifications, percentage of staff with another ethnic background than Danish, as well as staff stability (defined as the percentage of staff working at the preschool in 1997 and 1998). The data was analysed using regression analysis.


Bauchmüller, R., Gørtz, M. & Rasmussen, A. (2014). ”Long-run benefits from universal high-quality preschooling”. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 457-470.

Financed by

Center for Strategic Research in Education and Competence Building