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A Better Start in Life: Evaluation Results from an Early Childhood Development Program

Informed by a growing body of research showing that investments in early childhood health, nutrition, and cognitive and psychosocial development have immediate and long-term benefits on children, the Philippine government undertook a five-year pilot Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project. The project was implemented in Regions 6, 7, and 12 to improve the survival and developmental potential of children in the most vulnerable and disadvantaged areas, and thus to help them escape poverty and deprivation. This study evaluates the impact of this ECD Project based on selected indicators of (1) EDC service utilization, and (2) child health, nutrition, and cognitive and psychosocial development. The study, which followed a sample of children over four years, uses difference-in-difference method of estimating impact, adjusted for duration of program exposure, which compared changes over time in the project areas of Regions 6 and 7, and in the control areas in Region 8. The sample included over 6,000 children of age 0-4 years at the start of the study. Results show mixed positive impact of the project over the period.


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Jul 06, 2013