Investing in School Readiness: An Analysis of the Cost-Effectiveness of Early Childhood Education Pathways in Rural Indonesia

45 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2016  

Nozomi Nakajima

World Bank

Amer Hasan

World Bank

Haeil Jung

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Sally Anne Brinkman

University of Western Australia

Menno Prasad Pradhan

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)

Angela Kinnell

University of Western Australia

Date Written: September 26, 2016

Abstract

This paper presents evidence on the cost-effectiveness of early childhood education pathways in rural Indonesia. It documents the existence of substantial differences in school readiness between 6 to 9 year old children. Using detailed enrollment histories, it unpacks whether and how early education experiences explain these gaps. The analysis considers not only the sequence of services children enroll in, but also the age at which they enroll and the duration for which they enroll. The differences in primary school test scores between a child who has no early education exposure and a child who completes a full sequence at the developmentally appropriate age are 0.42 standard deviations in language and 0.43 standard deviations in mathematics, roughly equivalent to an additional 0.9 to 1.2 years of primary schooling. The paper analyzes the cost-effectiveness of various early education pathways in Indonesia to show that providing access to both playgroups and kindergartens to young children at developmentally appropriate ages can optimize public investments in early childhood education. The paper subjects the analysis to a variety of robustness checks, and concludes that children enrolled in play-based early education programs (playgroups) at age 3 or 4, followed by the country's more academically structured programs (kindergartens) at age 5 or 6, are more likely to be ready for primary school than children who do not follow this sequence. Compulsory pre-primary education policy should consider incorporating both playgroups and kindergartens.

Suggested Citation

Nakajima, Nozomi and Hasan, Amer and Jung, Haeil and Brinkman, Sally Anne and Pradhan, Menno Prasad and Kinnell, Angela, Investing in School Readiness: An Analysis of the Cost-Effectiveness of Early Childhood Education Pathways in Rural Indonesia (September 26, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7832. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2849133

Nozomi Nakajima (Contact Author)

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Amer Hasan

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Haeil Jung

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.indiana.edu/~spea/faculty/jung-haeil.shtml

Sally Anne Brinkman

University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, WA Western Australia 6009
Australia

Menno Pradhan

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands
+31(0)20 444 6137 (Phone)
+31(0)20 444 6127 (Fax)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Angela Kinnell

University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, WA Western Australia 6009
Australia

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