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Benefits of early childhood interventions across the world: (Under) Investing in the very young

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  • Nores, Milagros
  • Barnett, W. Steven

Abstract

This paper reviews the international (non-U.S.) evidence on the benefits of early childhood interventions. A total of 38 contrasts of 30 interventions in 23 countries were analyzed. It focuses on studies applying a quasi-experimental or random assignment. Studies were coded according to: the type of intervention (cash transfer, nutritional, educational or mixed); sample size; study design and duration; country; target group (infants, prekindergarten); subpopulations of interventions; and dosage of intervention. Cohen's D effect sizes were calculated for four outcomes: cognitive gains; behavioral change; health gains; and amount of schooling. We find children from different context and countries receive substantial cognitive, behavioral, health and schooling benefits from early childhood interventions. The benefits are sustained over time. Interventions that have an educational or stimulation component evidenced the largest cognitive effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 271-282

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:271-282

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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Keywords: Early childhood Nutrition Stimulation Effect size International policy Program effectiveness;

References

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  1. Jorge M. Agüero & Michael R. Carter & Ingrid Woolard, 2007. "The Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Nutrition: The South African Child Support Grant," Working Papers 39, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  2. Barnett, W. Steven & Belfield, Clive R., 2006. "Early childhood development and social mobility," MPRA Paper 858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Heckman, James J. & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," IZA Discussion Papers 2725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Temple, Judy A. & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2007. "Benefits and costs of investments in preschool education: Evidence from the Child-Parent Centers and related programs," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 126-144, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernal, Raquel & Fernández, Camila, 2013. "Subsidized childcare and child development in Colombia: Effects of Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar as a function of timing and length of exposure," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 241-249.
  2. Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Barbara Bruns & David Evans & Javier Luque, 2012. "Achieving World-Class Education in Brazil : The Next Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2383, October.
  4. Hazarika, Gautam & Viren, Vejoya, 2013. "The effect of early childhood developmental program attendance on future school enrollment in rural North India," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 146-161.
  5. Florencia Lopez Boo & Maria E. Canon, 2012. "Richer but more unequal? nutrition and caste gaps," Working Papers 2012-051, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Harold Alderman, 2011. "No Small Matter : The Impact of Poverty, Shocks, and Human Capital Investments in Early Childhood Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2266, October.
  7. Baker-Henningham, Helen & López Bóo, Florencia, 2010. "Early Childhood Stimulation Interventions in Developing Countries: A Comprehensive Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 5282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Janssens, Wendy & Rosemberg, Cristina, 2014. "The impact of a Caribbean home-visiting child development program on cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 22-37.
  9. Henry M. Levin & Heather L. Schwartz, 2012. "Comparing Costs of Early Childhood Care and Education Programs: An International Perspective," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 201(2), pages 39-65, June.
  10. World Bank, 2012. "Leading with Ideas : Skills for Growth and Equity in Thailand," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2732, The World Bank.
  11. Luis Fernando Gamboa, 2014. "Pre-school contributions to future achievements," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 011084, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  12. Belfield, Clive R. & Kelly, Inas Rashad, 2013. "Early education and health outcomes of a 2001 U.S. Birth Cohort," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 310-325.
  13. Arteaga, Irma & Humpage, Sarah & Reynolds, Arthur J. & Temple, Judy A., 2014. "One year of preschool or two: Is it important for adult outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 221-237.
  14. Wong, Ho Lun & Luo, Renfu & Zhang, Linxiu & Rozelle, Scott, 2013. "The impact of vouchers on preschool attendance and elementary school readiness: A randomized controlled trial in rural China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 53-65.

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