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An Evaluation of Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes in Cambodia Nirmala Rao The University of Hong Kong Emma Pearson Macquarie University Mark.

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Presentation on theme: "An Evaluation of Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes in Cambodia Nirmala Rao The University of Hong Kong Emma Pearson Macquarie University Mark."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Evaluation of Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes in Cambodia Nirmala Rao The University of Hong Kong Emma Pearson Macquarie University Mark Constas Cornell University


3 3 Background Objectives Method Findings Discussion Conclusions Outline

4 4 Background Access to early childhood programmes in Cambodia Current state of Cambodian children (stunting, wasting and underweight) Government is committed to early childhood education but lacks resources to scale up State Preschool Provision Alternative models of early childhood education (Community Preschools, Home-based programmes) exist BUT there has been no systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of these alternative programming strategies

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7 7 Background Objectives Method Findings Discussion Conclusions Outline

8 8 Objectives 1.To assess the effectiveness of the Community Preschool (CPS) and Home-based programmes (HBP) early childhood programmes on school readiness developmental outcomes. 2.To observe early care and education practices in Community Preschools and in Home-based ECD programmes. 3.To discern the perceptions of key and relevant stakeholders on how the CPS and HBP were being implemented. 4.To make suggestions relevant to the improvement, sustainability and expansion of existing programmes.

9 9 Background Objectives Method Findings Discussion Conclusions Outline

10 10 Method for Objective 1: Assess programme efficacy Childrens developmental functioning was assessed twice, one year before and just before they started Grade 1 (1312 children did pre-test) Randomly-selected sample Randomization at the, Commune, Village and Programme levels, respectively. Used list (alphabetical order in Khmer) with the names of all the communes and villages in UNICEF-supported districts

11 11 Banteay Meanchey Battambang Kampong Cham Kampong Thom Kampot Koh Kong Kratie Mondul Kiri Preah Vihear Pursat Ratanak Kiri Siemreap Sihanoukville Stung Treng Svay Rieng Takeo Oddar Meanchey Kep Pailin Phnom Penh Kampong Speu Prey Veng Kandal Kampong Chhnang

12 12 Method for Objective 1: Assess programme efficacy Selection of children All 5 year-old children in the selected programme (village) were administered a test of developmental functioning Cambodian Developmental Assessment Test

13 13 Method for Objective 1: Assess programme efficacy 1312 children did the pre-test 1184 children did both pre-test and post-test (Attrition rate less than 10%) 1019 children did not change programme status between pre-test and post-test. These are the children we focus on in the statistical analyses

14 14 Method for Objective 2: Observe care and education practices Conducted in two stages Home-based programmes were not observed per se, but we met with mothers and asked them to demonstrate what they did at home

15 15 Stage One Informal observations of at least one randomly- selected CPS in each of the UNICEF-supported provinces conducted by the consultants Evaluators visited each of the 6 CPS, somewhat unannounced, and observed the entire session in each CPS After each session we interviewed the CPS teacher

16 16 Stage Two Three children from three CPS programmes in each province were chosen based on their scores on the Pre-test (highest, middle and lowest scores on the CDAT) The POE- ECE directors completed the Cambodian Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (CECERS) for these 18 children (case studies) The directors were blind to the childrens pre-test scores and did not know why the three children were selected

17 17 Interviewed The Village Chief of a randomly-selected village and the relevant Commune Chief and Commune Council Focal Point for Women and Children Teachers/ core-mothers of the SPS, CPS and HBP in the selected village in communes Mothers whose children participated in HBP participated in focus groups that addressed their perceptions of the early childhood services their children were receiving Provincial and National level officials Method for Objective 3: Stakeholders views

18 18 Background Objectives Method Findings Discussion Conclusions Outline

19 19 Pre-test CDAT scores across programmes and provinces

20 20 Explanation of pre-test differences Significant differences at pre-test SPS, CPS, HBP > Control SPS > CPS, HBP Why are there differences? Where the child lives Maternal Education Preschool History

21 21 Where the child lives All children in SPS and CPS lived in villages which had these programmes 180/196 children in HBP had programmes in their village Control children had no services in the village remote areas

22 22 Maternal education Significant relationship between maternal education and the type of programme child attended SPS: 11% of mothers had no education CPS/HBP: 20% mothers had no education Control: 28% mothers had no education

23 23 Preschool history SPS (06-07): 44% attended SPS in % attended CPS CPS (06-07): 67% attended CPS in HBP (06-07): 72% received HBP in 05-06

24 24 Post-test CDAT scores across programmes and provinces

25 25 Pre-test and post-test CDAT scores across programmes

26 26 Pre-test and post-test CDAT scores across provinces

27 27 Prediction of post-test scores Maternal education, maternal literacy, paternal education, paternal literacy all significantly interrelated. 4 variables significantly contributed to prediction of post-test CDAT scores Pre-test CDAT (35% of the variance) Pre-test programme status Maternal education

28 28 Summary and implications based on CDAT 1.Participation in a EC programme had a significant influence on childrens developmental functioning increase access 2.History of preschool attendance makes a difference get children in programmes by at least age 4 3.Community Preschools versus Home-based programmes no differences in CDAT (implications and cautions) 4.Maternal education makes a difference focus on maternal literacy education 5.Quality of learning environment look to SPS

29 29 Observations of community preschools Cambodian Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (CECERS) Infrastructure (physical envt.) 12 items Personal Care and Routines: 7 items Physical Learning Aids: 7 items Language & Reasoning Experiences: 9 items Fine & Gross Motor Items: 6 items Creative Activities: 6 items Social Development Activities: 11 items Observations in 6 provinces, 10 districts, 14 communes and 18 villages by POE-ECE Director

30 30 CPS quality Variability in teachers backgrounds and teaching and learning environments. Physical setting/infrastructure is related to only: Physical Learning Aids Creative Activities Physical setting/infrastructure not related to: Personal Care and Routines Language and Reasoning Experiences Gross and Fine Motor Social Development

31 31 Interviews with teachers and parent focus groups Positive aspects of CPS Satisfaction gained by teachers Teachers as advocates Teachers upgrading their knowledge Children learning social skills Children learning academic skills Mothers involved in childrens learning

32 32 Interviews with teachers and parent focus groups Major Challenges Inadequate shelter Transportation and storage Difficulties in teaching mixed age groups Irregular attendance

33 33 Views of stakeholders: Background and history of programme Varied across provinces Clear preference for SPS Support for CPS or HBP from POE varied across provinces

34 34 Views of stakeholders: Perceived benefits of programmes SPS: Parents: longer hours of operation Teachers: Formal training POE: clear line management by MoEYS CPS: Teachers and parents: active, brave, confident children Commune Chief: parents learn value of early education HBP Mothers: educates and empowers them Community benefits: decreases domestic violence, enhances community participation

35 35 Views of stakeholders: Administration, cost and sustainability SPS: Well-established, well-managed and highly functional CPS: Resources: infrastructure and learning resources Teacher incentives Teacher attendance Financial issues HBP Considered more sustainable and easier to manage than CPS Easier to support: Only one CPS teacher but many mother groups

36 36 Views of stakeholders: Monitoring/ roles HBP: Community-based monitoring; on-going support for mothers groups CPS: POWA supports community POE provides technical support Visits vary according to location of CPS Good to have inter-sectoral co-ordination but it has problems lack of clarity across provinces LACK OF CLARITY can lead to LOSS OF PRIORITY

37 37 Operation and sustainability of programmes Operational Guidelines for the Establishment, Staffing, Curriculum, Support and Monitoring What we found High degree of commitment CPS: Non-operation; wide variations in teacher and programme quality; dependence on CPS teacher for programme operation HBP: Core mothers not most educated women in village; variations in operation

38 38 Operation and sustainability of CPS and HBP Challenges for Scaling up Maintaining quality Leadership Low levels of teacher and maternal education

39 39 Background Objectives Method Findings Discussion Conclusions Outline

40 40 Summary and impressions Given: the inputs required for the CPS the challenges identified in the sustainability of CPS programmes the fact that children from CPS and HBP programmes did not significantly differ in their school preparedness low levels of maternal education low levels of family involvement in the CPS

41 41 Suggestions Stakeholders may consider: scaling up a hybrid version of the CPS and HBP programmes. This will allow the community to gain the advantages of both types of programmes while avoiding the some of the problems associated with operating and supporting these programmes.

42 42 Background Objectives Method Findings Discussion Conclusions Outline


44 44 Conclusions Recommendations related to Demand, Access, Enrollment and Attendance Funding of ECCE Community Involvement Programme Quality Co-ordination among Stakeholders Scaling up CPS and HBP

45 45 Conclusions Stakeholders need the POLITICAL WILL to increase demand and supply of EC programmes. This must be accompanied by clearly articulated policies, implementation plans and financial commitment. SKILL to implement, support and evaluate EC programmes. Specific strategies needed at the National, Provincial, District, Commune, Village, Programme and Family Levels

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