Is something better than nothing? An evaluation of early childhood programs in Cambodia

Nirmala RAO, Jin SUN, Veronica PEARSON, Emma PEARSON, Hongyun LIU, Mark A. CONSTAS, Patrice L. ENGLE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the relative effectiveness of home-based, community-based, and state-run early childhood programs across Cambodia. A total of 880 five-year-olds (55% girls) from 6 rural provinces in Cambodia attending State Preschools, Community Preschools, Home-Based Programs, or no programs were assessed twice using the Cambodian Developmental Assessment Test. Controlling for baseline differences, children who participated in any early childhood programs performed significantly better in posttest than those of children who did not participate in any programs. Children in State Preschools scored significantly higher than those in either Community Preschools or Home-Based Programs; scores did not differ as a function of attending Community Preschools or Home-Based Programs. The results indicate that some preschool experience is better than none at all. Copyright © 2012 The Authors. Copyright © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-876
JournalChild Development
Issue number3
Early online date17 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


Child Development


Rao, N., Sun, J., Pearson, V., Pearson, E., Liu, H., Constas, M. A., & Engle, P. L. (2012). Is something better than nothing? An evaluation of early childhood programs in Cambodia. Child Development, 83(3), 864-876. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01746.x