This study examined associations between participation, intensity (hours per week), duration (months attended), and total dosage (total hours attended) in early childhood education (ECE) and children's cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development in Cambodia, China, Mongolia, and Vanuatu using data from the validation sample of the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales (EAP-ECDS). The total sample analyzed included 4712 ethnic majority children (2336 girls), ranging in age from 36 to 71 months. Controlling for age, gender, parental education and occupation, household wealth, and urbanicity: (i) children who received ECE had significantly better cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development than those who did not; (ii) among children who did not attend ECE, age-adjusted scores were significantly lower for older children than they were for younger children; (iii) increased ECE intensity was associated with higher scores in all developmental domains in Mongolia, higher language scores in Cambodia, and lower socio-emotional scores in Cambodia and China; and (iv) ECE dosage was positively associated with cognitive and socio-emotional scores in China, and language scores in Mongolia. Overall, results indicate that ECE is beneficial for children's early development, though many children in the region are not able to reap these rewards due to barriers to access. Results suggest efforts to ensure all children have access to quality ECE be exerted so that these benefits can be realized. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
CitationRao, N., Richards, B., Sun, J., Weber, A., & Sincovich, A. (2019). Early childhood education and child development in four countries in East Asia and the Pacific. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 169-181. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.08.011
- Early childhood education
- Early childhood development
- East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales (EAP-ECDS)