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The Top Six

According to experts, there are six critical elements that determine whether a child care center is high quality.

In recent decades, governments in Latin America and the Caribbean have expanded the coverage of child care services. This policy primarily sought to allow mothers to enter the labor market. However, less attention has been paid to the need to guarantee that child care centers provide high-quality experiences at a key time in the child’s life.

Childhood is a crucial stage for learning, health and the future nutrition of every child. The economic benefits of childhood development programs are up to 19 times greater than their costs. This means more education, better jobs and better health for the children who attend them.


The Psychometric Properties of Child Care Quality Measures in Ecuador: Lessons for Monitoring Process Variables at Scale

Authors: Florencia Lopez Boo, Marta Dormal and Ann Weber.

This paper analyzes four instruments that are widely used to measure the quality of centers serving children ages 0 to 36 months - the CLASS, the ITERS-R, the CC-IT-HOME, and the MITRCC – and that were administered to a sample of 404 child care centers in Ecuador.


Concurrent Validity and Feasibility of Short Tests Currently Used to Measure Early Childhood Development in Large Scale Studies: Methodology and Results 

Authors: Marta Rubio-Codina, María Caridad Araujo, Orazio P. Attanasio and Sally Grantham-McGregor. August 2016.

We examine the feasibility, reliability, and concurrent validity of three multi-dimensional screeners and two single-domain tests in 1,311 children of 6-42 months in Bogota, Colombia.



A Snapshot on the Quality of Seven Home Visit Parenting Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

Authors:Jane Leer, Florencia Lopez Boo, Ana Perez Expósito & Christine Powell. July 2016.

This note presents a snapshot of home visit quality in seven countries in which home visits reach a considerable number of children.


Sex-Differences in Language and Socio-emotional Skills in Early Childhood

Authors: Rosangela Bando, Florencia López-Boo & Xia Li. July 2016. 

This study explores sex differences in language and socio-emotional skills on children 7 months to 6 years old in Latin-America. Females had a significant advantage in both dimensions. The findings in this paper also shed light on the role of biological and environmental factors to explain sex gaps.



Parenting Programme in Health Centres: What You Do with Baby Really Matters: Implementation Manual 

Authors: Susan Walker, Christine Powell, Susan Chang, Helen Baker-Henningham and Sally Grantham-McGregor. Editor: Florencia López Bóo. April 2016.

This is the implementation manual of a program that teaches mothers how to care, talk and play with their children to improve their development. When they get older, this will help them to be ready for school, be happy and well behaved. The program uses a new approach of including parenting in routine child health visits.


How is Child Care Quality Measured?

Authors: Florencia López Bóo, María Caridad Araujo and Romina Tomé. February 2016.

This toolkit is designed to be a resource for researchers and technical staff of any discipline, working for governments and institutions interested in measuring and monitoring the quality of child care centers serving infants ages 0 to 3 years (36 months).


Teacher Quality and Learning Outcomes in Kindergarten

Authors: Maria Caridad Araujo, Pedro Carneiro, Yyannú Cruz-Aguayo and Norbert Schady. January 2016.

In spite of the increase in the number of studies of teacher effectiveness in recent years, much remains to be learned. In this study we find substantial classroom effects: a one-standard deviation increase in classroom quality results in 0.11, 0.11, and 0.07 standard deviation higher test scores in language, math, and EF, respectively. Teacher behaviors, as measured by the CLASS, are associated with higher test scores.


Delivering Parenting Interventions through Health Services in the Caribbean

Authors: Susan P. Walker, Christine Powell, Susan M Chang, Helen Baker-Henningham, Sally Grantham-McGregor, Marcos Vera-Hernández and Florencia López Bóo. November 2015.

In this working paper you will find the results of a rigorous impact evaluation of a parenting early childhood development intervention successfully integrated in primary health centers in the Caribbean. Both children and mothers benefited from an innovative intervention in the health centers.


The Early Years: Child Well-being and the Role of Public Policy

Editors: Norbert Schady and Samuel Berlinski. November 2015.

IDB Flagship publication in 2015. It focuses on the well-being of children from conception to 8 years of age and makes the case for public intervention in improving child outcomes. This book offers suggestions for public policy to improve those experiences in ways that would certainly shape children's lives and the face of the societies they live in for years to come.


Measuring the Quality of Home-Visiting Services: A Review of the Literature

Authors: Sara Schodt, James Parr, María Caridad Araujo and Marta Rubio-Codina. December 2015.

The study discusses the key elements that define a high quality home visit, describes a range of instruments designed to measure structural and process elements. It also describes in instances in which they have been used, and the results of their administration.


The Quality of Centros Infantiles del Buen Vivir in Ecuador

Authors: María Caridad Araujo, Florencia López-Boo, Rafael Novella, Sara Schodt and Romina Tomé. November 2015.

This study aims to characterize different quality aspects of the services provided by public child care centers to children under 3 years of age. The most complex changes—but also the most necessary—are related to aspects of process quality, particularly those connected to the training of child care staff and the skill-building necessary to offer experiences that maximize well-being and promote learning in all areas of child development.


Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries

Authors: Norbert Schady, Jere Behrman, Maria Caridad Araujo, Rodrigo Azuero, Raquel Bernal, David Bravo, Florencia Lopez-Boo, Karen Macours, Daniela Marshall, Christina Paxson, and Renos Vakis. January 2014.

Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and non-cognitive ability appear early in the life cycle. Little is known about this important question for developing countries. This paper provides new evidence of sharp differences in cognitive development by socioeconomic status in early childhood for five Latin American countries.



Overview of Early Childhood Development Services in Latin America and the Caribbean

Authors: María Caridad Araujo, Florencia López-Boo and Juan Manuel Puyana. August 2013.

The number of child care services in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown in recent years in order to facilitate women’s access to the labor force. However, less attention has been paid to the need to ensure that child care centers provide high-quality services. The main objective of this study is to collect and systematize detailed, updated and comparable information about the design, management, funding and quality of child development services in the region.


Early Learning Guidelines in Latin America and the Caribbean

Authors: Christine Harris-Van Keuren and Diana Rodríguez Gómez. January 2013.

A new analysis from the IDB determines that the vast majority of curricular content at child care centers in the region does not include child development indicators such as interculturality, the teaching of a second language, or peaceful conflict resolution. This report presents a comparative analysis of the early learning guidelines of 19 programs serving children under age 3.



Early Childhood Development in Mexico (only in Spanish)

Authors: Robert Myers, Arcelia Martínez, Marco Antonio Delgado, Juan Luis Fernández and Adriana Martínez. January 2013.

The prevailing notion of child development as the spontaneous result of good health, nutrition and care rather than a comprehensive process that includes and promotes children’s motor, cognitive, language, social and emotional development continues to persist. This study analyzes options to improve early childhood development in Mexico.


Early Childhood stimulation interventions in developing countries: a comprenhensive literature review

Authors: Helen Baker-Henningham and Florencia Lopez Boo. September 2010.

What works in terms of early stimulation for young children in developing countries? For whom and under what conditions do these programs work and why is it that they work? This report reviews the effectiveness of early childhood stimulation interventions in developing countries.


Intercontinental Evidence on Socioeconomic Status and Early Childhood: Cognitive Skills: Is Latin America Different?

Author: Florencia López Bóo. August 2013.

This paper documents disparities in cognitive development- as measured by a receptive vocabulary test-between children from households with high and low socioeconomic status (SES) in two different phases of childhood (before and after early school years) in four developing countries: Peru, Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam.

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