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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 Leroy de la Brière, Alejandro Caballero, Julien Alexis Hautier, and Domenec Ruiz Devesa. Contents.

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the promise of early childhood development in latin america and the caribbean

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

contents
Contents
  • Why invest in early childhood development?
  • Status of earlychildhooddevelopment (ECD) in LatinAmerica and theCaribbean
  • Whatinterventionsaffect ECD (and how)?
  • ECD policies and programs in LatinAmerica
  • Concludingremarks
1 why invest in early childhood development
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
factors that affect ecd and lifetime outcomes
Factors that affect ECD and Lifetime Outcomes

Early

Childhood

Development

Cognitive development

Socioemotional

development

Physical health

and growth

Context

Economic growth

Poverty

Inequality

Diversity

Lifetime Outcomes

Education

Health

Fertility

Income

Dangerous Behavior

ECD Policies

Health

Nutrition

Education

Poverty reduction

ecd interventions have high returns
ECD interventions have high returns

8

6

Pre

-

school Programs

Return

per $

invested

School

4

Opportunity cost of funds

Job Training

2

Pre

-

Post

-

school

school

School

0

6

18

Age

Source: Carneiro and Heckman (2003)

2 ecd status in latin america
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
poverty rates in lac are higher among children than in the general population
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

at 6 years of age children have significant cognitive differences
At 6 years of age, children have significant cognitive differences

Ecuador

Age (in months)

Source: Adapted from Paxson and Schady (2007)

early childhood education 1 5 income quintile ratio of children aged 5 6 attending preschool
Early childhood education - 1:5 income quintile ratio of children aged 5-6 attending preschool

Source: World Bank estimates using household survey data.

health insurance 1 5 income quintile ratio of children under age 6 with coverage
Health insurance–1:5 income quintile ratio of children under age 6 with coverage

Source: World Bank estimates using household survey data.

oecd countries invest up to 1 8 of gdp in ecd
OECD countries invest up to 1.8% of GDP in ECD

Source: Adapted from Bennett 2007

ecd investment in latin america does not exceed 0 6 of gnp
ECD investment in Latin America does not exceed 0.6% of GNP

Source: UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2007

slide13

3. What interventions affect ECD (and how)?

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

Education

Preschool (3-5)

Care (0-3)

Poverty reduction

Income transfers

Maternity/paternity permission

Female Labor participation

Home infrastructure

Nutrition

Food and supplements

impact of ecd interventions
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
4 ecd policies and programs in latin america
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
policy implications
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
5 concluding remarks
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