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The aim of this handbook is to provide some initial policy recommendation to improve the supply of child care services in Italy.

Research was built on information gathered from a sample of facilities that are part of PAN, a consortium founded in 2004 to make up for the shortfall in supply of day care services for kids aged 0 to 3 years and ensure quality services that are integrated with public policies for children and their families.

The paper starts with an overview of the structural features of the supply of child care services in Italy and an outline of the economic literature on the effects of public child care policies on women’s  decision to have a child and female participation in the labor market.

The paper continues with a detailed analysis of the structure of revenues and expenses of children day care centers based on the financial statements of a sample of PAN affiliated facilities to identify the key drivers of cost  and a cost formula for day care centers.

Finally, the paper sets out a series of simulations of the effects of an expansion in public spending for child care services on public finances taking into account that the increased supply of child care services leads to higher employment  rates hence also higher revenues for the public coffers.

Osservatorio's Handbook.
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