Persistence and fadeout of preschool participation effects on early reading skills in low- and middle-income countries
Gove, A., Pressley, J. K., Weatherholt, T., & Dombrowski, E. (2018). Persistence and fadeout of preschool participation effects on early reading skills in low- and middle-income countries. Global Education Review, 5(2). http://ger.mercy.edu/index.php/ger/article/view/398
The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 marked a new milestone for early childhood education, care and development (ECECD). For the first time in the framework of global goals, ECECD is described as integral to children’s school readiness. Yet with few exceptions, much of the research on the impact of preschool stems from high-income countries. Even fewer studies have examined preschool and later learning across multiple countries. This paper seeks to fill this gap by connecting preschool participation to early primary reading outcomes, as measured by Early Grade Reading Assessment. Drawing on a unique dataset using student-level learning assessments from sixteen countries, we use preprimary participation to explain primary reading outcomes. We also model the influence of key demographic variables, including home language and classroom language of instruction (LOI). For a subset of six countries with exceptionally rich data, we examine policy and practice to better understand what might explain the persistence or fadeout of the preschool effect. We expect that policy makers and practitioners alike will find these results useful in making the case for improving preschool experiences for children in low- and middle-income countries in the next decade of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-related efforts.