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The Promise of Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean Emiliana Vegas and Lucrecia Santibañez With contributions from: Bénédicte.

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Presentation on theme: "The Promise of Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean Emiliana Vegas and Lucrecia Santibañez With contributions from: Bénédicte."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Promise of Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean Emiliana Vegas and Lucrecia Santibañez With contributions from: Bénédicte Leroy de la Brière, Alejandro Caballero, Julien Alexis Hautier, and Domenec Ruiz Devesa

2 Contents 1.Why invest in early childhood development? 2.Status of early childhood development (ECD) in Latin America and the Caribbean 3.What interventions affect ECD (and how)? 4.ECD policies and programs in Latin America 5.Concluding remarks

3 1. Why invest in early childhood development?  There is consistent evidence of the effects that early childhood development interventions have on future life outcomes: Education Labor insertion and wages Health, fertility Probability of engaging in ilegal activities  The impact of these interventions is greater in the most vulnerable populations Especially relevant for Latin America

4 Factors that affect ECD and Lifetime Outcomes Context Economic growth Poverty Inequality Diversity ECD Policies Health Nutrition Education Poverty reduction Early Childhood Development Cognitive development Socioemotional development Physical health and growth Lifetime Outcomes Education Health Fertility Income Dangerous Behavior

5 ECD interventions have high returns Source: Carneiro and Heckman (2003) Pre-school Programs School Job Training Return per $ invested 2 4 6 0618 Age Pre- schoolSchool Post-school 8 Opportunity cost of funds

6 2. ECD Status in Latin America  Child poverty rates are high, and poverty affects ECD  There are great differences in access to ECD services by socio- economic status  ECD investment is relatively low and varies greatly across countries

7 Poverty rates in LAC are higher among children than in the general population Note: Poverty is defined as living with less than two dollars a day Source: World Bank estimates using household survey data

8 At 6 years of age, children have significant cognitive differences Source: Adapted from Paxson and Schady (2007) Ecuador Age (in months)

9 Early childhood education - 1:5 income quintile ratio of children aged 5-6 attending preschool Source: World Bank estimates using household survey data.

10 Health insurance–1:5 income quintile ratio of children under age 6 with coverage Source: World Bank estimates using household survey data.

11 OECD countries invest up to 1.8% of GDP in ECD Source: Adapted from Bennett 2007

12 ECD investment in Latin America does not exceed 0.6% of GNP Source: UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2007

13 Child Prenatal 0-2 3-4 5-6 Mother (prenatal) Mother/Father/ Caregiver Healthcare and hygiene Maternal/prenatal health Water and sanitation Healthcare prevention Mental Health Poverty reduction Income transfers Maternity/paternity permission Female Labor participation Home infrastructure Nutrition Food and supplements Education Preschool (3-5) Care (0-3) 3. What interventions affect ECD (and how)?

14 Impact of ECD interventions  Interventions with nutritional components have positive effects on: growth and physical well-being, reflected on weight, height, and overall health cognitive development  CCTs have impacts on cognitive have impacts on: healthcare prevention and control cognitive and socioemotional development  Preschool attendance has positive effects on: cognitive and socioemotional development the probability of continuing in school

15 4. ECD policies and programs in Latin America  There are many programs of varying scale We selected large-scale programs, or smaller scale programs, most of which have been rigorously evaluated We analized design and implementation characteristics  Three countries in the region have national ECD policies: Chile, Colombia and Jamaica

16 Eleven programs were reviewed CountryProgram(s) Chile  Junta Nacional de Jardines Infantiles (JUNJI)  Fundación Educacional para el Desarrollo Integral del Menor (INTEGRA)  Conozca a su Hijo (CASH) Colombia  Hogares Comunitarios  Familias en Acción Honduras  Atención Integral a la Niñez Comunitaria (AIN-C)  Proyecto Nutrición y Protección Social  Madres Guías México  Oportunidades  Educación Inicial no Escolarizada Perú  Proyecto de Atención Integral a Niños y Niñas Menores de Seis Años de la Sierra Rural (PAIN)

17 Policy implications  National policies help scale up investments in ECD programs Multisectoral and inter-institutional coordination  Core “building blocks” for a national ECD policy include: Defining an institutional anchor and achieving intersectoral coordination Ensuring adequate funding Defining core priorities, including target populations Building on evidence of what works from rigorous evaluations Ensuring coherence with related policies

18 5. Concluding Remarks  ECD has important consequences for individuals and society Substantial evidence from developed and developing countries  In Latin America and the Caribbean, it is especially important to invest in ECD: To reduce initial disadvantages To maximize all children´s potential  Financial, coordination and cultural challenges remain for expanding coverage of ECD programs  More rigorous evaluations, especially on cost- effectiveness of alternative policies, are needed


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