Grantham-McGregor, S., Cheung, Y. B., Cueto, S. et al. (2007). Developmental Potential in the First 5 Years for Children in Developing Countries. The Lancet, 369, 60-70.
ABSTRACT: The study examined the influence of community based early childhood education on children’s’ literacy and cognitive skills. The study sought to investigate whether children who attended the community based early childhood programmes were ahead of their peer who did not attend any programmes. The method used was quantitative in nature. The total sample was approximately two hundred and thirty-one. These were divided into treatment and control groups. The skills measured included early literacy—letter naming, fine motor skills, receptive and expressive language and cognitive skills—Rapid Automa-tised Naming (RAN), problem solving and attention skills. Other moderating factors included age, gender and socioeconomic status. On early literacy outcomes, SES and ECE attendance strongly predicated letter naming while age, SES and ECE predicted fine motor skills. ECE and socioeconomic status predicated expressive language while none predicted receptive language. Predictors for cognitive skills were SES for Rapid Automatised Naming (RAN); age, SES and ECE attendance predicted problem solving skills. None of the predictors explained variation for the attention skills. Children attending the community based ECE programmes in rural areas are ahead of their counterparts with no ECE exposure and are better prepared for school compared to those that do not. Implications of the findings are discussed.