Investing in our future

The early childhood intervention and parental involvement in Bangladesh

Asad Islam and John List (University of Chicago)

Early childhood is widely recognised as a critical phase of human development, and interventions targeted at this stage have a farther-reaching impact than those targeted later in life. Preschool education has been found to confer significant benefits on children in developed countries. Yet, the impact of pre-schooling in developing countries is largely unknown. The aim of this project is to bridge the gap by systematically evaluating whether introducing pre-schooling in remote rural communities improve cognitive and non-cognitive skills of children and ready for primary school in a developing country like Bangladesh.

This project, being carried out in 222 villages, uses randomized controlled trials (RCTs) approach to evaluate the efficacy of three interventions designed to improve child outcomes in Bangladesh. The three interventions are: a preschool program, home visit only, and pre-school program combined with home visit. The first intervention established a pre-school program that aims to prepare pre-primary students for formal school and provide them with the skills needed to perform well in primary schools and beyond. The second intervention included weekly home visit by teachers/caregivers to demonstrate parent-child interactions and learning environment at home. The third intervention combined pre-school program with home visit.

The research is supported by UK research council (ESRC).