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Conference Paper: Why should we focus on equitable access and participation? Evidence from the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales.

TitleWhy should we focus on equitable access and participation? Evidence from the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales.
Authors
Issue Date2017
Citation
The Asia-Pacific Regional Early Childhood Development (ECD) Conference, Cambodia, Siem Reap, 1-3 March 2017  How to Cite?
AbstractThere is considerable evidence demonstrating socio-economic gradients in early child development, although much of the evidence is from high income countries. Early childhood policies are becoming more common in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs), but not enough is known about SES gradients in development in these countries. In this context, this paper asks why we should focus on equitable access and participation in early child development programmes in LMICs. It analyses data from six countries collected for the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales (EAP-ECDS), and has three objectives. First, it produces evidence on differences in SES gradients between different domains of child development. Second, it examines differences between different indicators of SES - wealth, maternal education and paternal occupation – and asks which is most strongly related to early child development. Third, it analyses the influence of preschool attendance on the SES-development relationship. The paper finds that maternal education is most strongly associated with Cognitive Development, with high maternal education being associated with a 0.304 standard deviation (SD) increase in Cognitive Development scores. Maternal education is also strongly associated with Language & Literacy (0.265 SD) and Socio-emotional Development (0.226 SD). High household wealth is most strongly associated with Language & Literacy (0.213 SD). Paternal occupation is more weakly associated with child development (0.130 SD for Language & Literacy). When the three SES indicators are compared, paternal occupation becomes statistically insignificant once maternal education and household wealth are controlled for. However both wealth and maternal education remain significant (p<0.001) suggesting they are related to child development in different ways, but that paternal occupation is not. Maternal education has a significantly stronger association than wealth with Cognitive Development, but differences are not significant for the other domains. A negative interaction was found for having both high wealth and maternal education in the Language & Literacy domain, suggesting the advantage of having one or the other is larger than the advantage of having both together. Preschool attendance was associated with positive development outcomes across all domains, and was most strongly related to Language & Literacy Development (0.378 SD). Furthermore, preschool attendance moderates the advantage of having the highest level of maternal education compared to no qualifications: inequalities are lower for those attending preschool than those not attending. Overall, we found that maternal education was most important for child development, closely followed by household wealth, with parental occupation being much less important. SES gradients are strongest in Cognitive Development and Language and Literacy. Maternal education is particularly important for Cognitive Development. Preschool attendance is beneficial for children from all backgrounds and across all developmental domains. However, preschool attendance may be particularly beneficial for children’s Language and Literacy skills, and evidence suggests that it may help reduce inequalities in development. This paper demonstrates why ECD advocacy work is fundamentally important by illustrating how SES inequalities translate into strong inequalities in development. It also contributes towards a greater understanding of SES-development relationships in LMICs - a precursor to effective intervention – by disentangling the relationships between different SES indicators and different developmental domains. It illustrates the huge role that preschool education can have in improving developmental outcomes for children. Its findings reaffirm the importance of meeting Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 by 2030: this would be beneficial to all children, but most of all to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/248688

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorRichards, BD-
dc.contributor.authorRao, N-
dc.date.accessioned2017-10-18T08:47:03Z-
dc.date.available2017-10-18T08:47:03Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationThe Asia-Pacific Regional Early Childhood Development (ECD) Conference, Cambodia, Siem Reap, 1-3 March 2017 -
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/248688-
dc.description.abstractThere is considerable evidence demonstrating socio-economic gradients in early child development, although much of the evidence is from high income countries. Early childhood policies are becoming more common in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs), but not enough is known about SES gradients in development in these countries. In this context, this paper asks why we should focus on equitable access and participation in early child development programmes in LMICs. It analyses data from six countries collected for the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales (EAP-ECDS), and has three objectives. First, it produces evidence on differences in SES gradients between different domains of child development. Second, it examines differences between different indicators of SES - wealth, maternal education and paternal occupation – and asks which is most strongly related to early child development. Third, it analyses the influence of preschool attendance on the SES-development relationship. The paper finds that maternal education is most strongly associated with Cognitive Development, with high maternal education being associated with a 0.304 standard deviation (SD) increase in Cognitive Development scores. Maternal education is also strongly associated with Language & Literacy (0.265 SD) and Socio-emotional Development (0.226 SD). High household wealth is most strongly associated with Language & Literacy (0.213 SD). Paternal occupation is more weakly associated with child development (0.130 SD for Language & Literacy). When the three SES indicators are compared, paternal occupation becomes statistically insignificant once maternal education and household wealth are controlled for. However both wealth and maternal education remain significant (p<0.001) suggesting they are related to child development in different ways, but that paternal occupation is not. Maternal education has a significantly stronger association than wealth with Cognitive Development, but differences are not significant for the other domains. A negative interaction was found for having both high wealth and maternal education in the Language & Literacy domain, suggesting the advantage of having one or the other is larger than the advantage of having both together. Preschool attendance was associated with positive development outcomes across all domains, and was most strongly related to Language & Literacy Development (0.378 SD). Furthermore, preschool attendance moderates the advantage of having the highest level of maternal education compared to no qualifications: inequalities are lower for those attending preschool than those not attending. Overall, we found that maternal education was most important for child development, closely followed by household wealth, with parental occupation being much less important. SES gradients are strongest in Cognitive Development and Language and Literacy. Maternal education is particularly important for Cognitive Development. Preschool attendance is beneficial for children from all backgrounds and across all developmental domains. However, preschool attendance may be particularly beneficial for children’s Language and Literacy skills, and evidence suggests that it may help reduce inequalities in development. This paper demonstrates why ECD advocacy work is fundamentally important by illustrating how SES inequalities translate into strong inequalities in development. It also contributes towards a greater understanding of SES-development relationships in LMICs - a precursor to effective intervention – by disentangling the relationships between different SES indicators and different developmental domains. It illustrates the huge role that preschool education can have in improving developmental outcomes for children. Its findings reaffirm the importance of meeting Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 by 2030: this would be beneficial to all children, but most of all to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofThe Asia-Pacific Regional Early Childhood Development (ECD) Conference, Cambodia, Siem Reap, 1-3 March 2017 -
dc.titleWhy should we focus on equitable access and participation? Evidence from the East Asia-Pacific Early Child Development Scales.-
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailRichards, BD: benrich@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailRao, N: nrao@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityRao, N=rp00953-
dc.identifier.hkuros280211-

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