Childhood for Business Development (NANNY)

This experimental study is being implemented in Masaka, Mukono, Mityana, Iganda, Mbale, Jinja, Kabarole, Kasese, and Kyenjojo districts of Uganda. It aims to assess the role of childcare services in improving women’s labour market outcomes and understand the role of credit constraints in limiting women’s labour market outcomes and access to childcare services. It will also assess how attending nursery or receiving an unconditional cash transfer affect the cognitive development of children 3-5. 

Researchers: Professor Kjetil Bjorvatn, Dr Vincent Somville, Dr Selim Gulesci, Dr Lore Vandewalle, Arne Nasgowitz, and Denise Ferris

Partners: SNF – Centre for Applied Research at Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Timeline: 2018–2023

Status: Ongoing

Contact: Denise Ferris


Limited evidence exists on how childcare services affect household members’ labour supply and earnings in low-income countries. A failure to capture effects at the household level may lead policy-makers to underinvest in childcare. Field experiments on microenterprises have found that financial returns to capital shocks are lower in female-owned businesses. There is also no (causal) evidence on how childcare obligations affect returns to capital shocks in women’s businesses. This study aims to help women, by giving cash and support, send their children to nurseries to improve their businesses.

Research Questions

  1. How do childcare subsidies affect (i) labour supply and earnings, (ii) child development, and (iii) the effectiveness of capital grants to female-owned businesses?
  2. How do these subsidies compare with a cash grant?


Randomized control trial (RCT) method will be applied. The study population consists of female primary caregivers (mothers/grandmothers) and children 3-5 in 400 villages from nine districts (Masaka, Mukono, Mityana, Iganda, Mbale, Jinja, Kabarole, Kasese, and Kyenjojo). A total of 1,200 respondents will be split into three treatment and one control arm. There are three types of treatments: (i) child-care subsidy, (ii) unconditional cash grant, (iii) combinations of child-care subsidy and an unconditional cash grant. Outcomes of interest will be measured through baseline and follow-up surveys. Quantitative analysis will be conducted to compare over time trends of the outcomes of interest in the three treatment groups relative to the control group, and relative to each other.


Study ongoing.