Does pre-school improve cognitive abilities among children with early-life stunting? A longitudinal study for Peru

Author(s): Cueto, Santiago; Behrman, Jere R.; Crookston, Benjamin T.; León, Juan; Miranda, Alejandra; Dearden, Kirk

Organisation(s): University of Oxford (UK). Dept of International Development, ODID. Young Lives

Date: 2016

Pages: p. 102-114

Several studies in developing countries have found that children who experience growth faltering in the first years of life show lower cognitive abilities than their peers. In this study, the authors use the Young Lives longitudinal dataset in Peru to analyse whether attending pre-school affects cognitive abilities at age 5 years, and if there is an interaction with HAZ at age 1 year. Using instrumental variables they found, for receptive vocabulary, a positive effect of attending Jardines (formal pre-schools); the effect of attending PRONOEI (community-based) pre-schools was not significant. More years attending Jardines was more beneficial for children who were better nourished. They suggest working to improve the quality of PRONOEIs, and with teachers on targeting children of lower nutritional status.

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