Can kindergarten combat learning inequality?


Published 09.02.21
Photo credit:
Twin Work & Volunteer/flickr

Participation in early childhood education programmes can lead to improved and lasting learning outcomes for disadvantaged children

Read "Attending kindergarten improves cognitive but not socioemotional development in India" by Joshua T. Dean and Seema Jayachandran here.

The time between ages four and six has long been viewed as a critical moment for child development. However, accessing quality early childhood education can be challenging for those from less advantaged backgrounds. This has potentially severe consequences, as children may then lack the skills needed to thrive in primary school and beyond, and fall behind their more advantaged peers from the very beginning. In this VoxDev Video, Seema Jayachandran discusses her work with Joshua Dean on the impact of a scholarship scheme in India that allowed poor families to enrol their children in kindergarten. This experimental research found that receiving a scholarship led to increased attendance and positive cognitive impacts thereafter.