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What matters most for early childhood development? Evidence from Malda district, India

Rayhan Sk, Jawaharlal Nehru University

A cross-sectional case study was conducted to assess the early childhood developmental (ECD) status holistically and to investigate the factors influencing the same in Malda, India. Information on 731 pre-school children aged 36 to 59 months was collected in 2018 using a structured questionnaire following a multi-stage, stratified simple random sampling procedure. It has been found that only about 25 per cent of children are developmentally on track of literacy-numeracy domain of ECD. Although, in the other domains, the situation is better. Results of the path analysis revealed that there are certain proximal factors, i.e., home environment, mother’s time for care, having home tuition and attending private pre-school which are influenced by certain distal factors and subsequently affecting ECD. The total effects revealed that place of residence (urban or rural) affects ECD mostly (Coef. -0.87, p = <0.001) directly or via mothers’ time for stimulating activities, home environment and having home tuition for children.

Keywords: Children and youth, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Methodology, Structural equation modelling

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  Presented in Session 97. Achieving Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education for Children and Adolescents from Vulnerable Households