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Improving Access and Quality in Early Childhood Development Programs: Experimental Evidence from the Gambia

Author

Listed:
  • Blimpo, Moussa P.

    () (University of Oklahoma)

  • Carneiro, Pedro

    () (University College London)

  • Jervis, Pamela

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Pugatch, Todd

    () (Oregon State University)

Abstract

This paper studies two experiments of early childhood development programs in The Gambia: one increasing access to services, and another improving service quality. In the first experiment, new community-based early childhood development (ECD) centers were introduced to randomly chosen villages that had no pre-existing structured ECD services. In the second experiment, a randomly assigned subset of existing ECD centers received intensive provider training. We find no evidence that either intervention improved average levels of child development. Exploratory analysis suggests that, in fact, the first experiment, which increased access to relatively low quality ECD services, led to declines in child development among children from less disadvantaged households. Evidence supports that these households may have been steered away from better quality early childhood settings in their homes.

Suggested Citation

  • Blimpo, Moussa P. & Carneiro, Pedro & Jervis, Pamela & Pugatch, Todd, 2019. "Improving Access and Quality in Early Childhood Development Programs: Experimental Evidence from the Gambia," IZA Discussion Papers 12163, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    early childhood development; cognitive stimulation; teacher training; The Gambia; randomized control trials; Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis

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