Investing in free universal childcare in the Republic of North Macedonia: Analysis of costs, short-term employment effects and fiscal revenue

Authors/editor(s): Jerome De Henau and Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski

This paper examines the case for investing in free universal childcare services in order to:

  1. reduce gender inequality in employment, labour market activity and earnings;
  2. promote higher human capital through greater enrolment of children in early childhood learning and development; and
  3. ensure equal access to all children in formal childcare as to foster the life chances and well-being of young children.

The study estimates the employment-generating and fiscal effects of investing in universal childcare in the Republic of North Macedonia. It calculates the total annual costs of investing in childcare services that would increase the enrolment (coverage) rate of the children in formal childcare services to different target levels. The Government has recently pledged to increase the enrolment rate of the children aged 3–6 from 40 per cent to 50 per cent.

In addition, this study experiments with several options for the target enrolment rate, up to the full coverage, using parameters relevant to the Macedonian context.

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Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Europe and Central Asia; North Macedonia

Subject area(s): Access to basic services; Economic empowerment; Education; Governance and national planning; Macroeconomic policies; Social protection; Universal primary education

Resource type: Discussion papers

Series: Economic Empowerment Discussion Papers

UN Women office involved in publication: North Macedonia Programme Presence Office

Publication year: 2020

Number of pages: ii + 32

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)