Early childhood education and child development in four countries in East Asia and the Pacific

Nirmala RAO, Ben RICHARDS, Jin SUN, Ann WEBER, Alanna SINCOVICH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-181
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume47
Early online dateDec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

Far East
Child Development
childhood
Education
Mongolia
Cambodia
education
China
Language
emotional development
language
Vanuatu
Child Language
ethnic structure
Reward
Occupations
Melanesia
Parents
reward
occupation

Bibliographical note

Rao, 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

Keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood development
  • East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales (EAP-ECDS)