Early childhood development and cognitive development in developing countries: evidence brief

Early childhood development and cognitive development in developing countries: evidence brief

This paper summarises findings from the rigorous literature review, Early childhood development and cognitive development in developing countries. It provides an overview of key evidence to assist policy-makers and researchers in assessing the research in this field.

Among the key findings are:

  • A large, high-quality evidence base shows that early childhood development (ECD) interventions focusing on (i) parental support; (ii) early stimulation and education; (iii) nutrition and health; (iv) income supplementation; and (v) comprehensive and integrated programmes have positive effects on children’s cognitive development 
  • The largest effects are associated with comprehensive programmes
  • Parent-focused interventions are most effective when both the child and parent are involved and 
  • Using well-qualified early childhood educators and community health workers lead to better cognitive outcomes for children across programmes