Skip to Main Navigation

Preschool and child development under extreme poverty : evidence from a randomized experiment in rural Mozambique (English)

This study analyzed the impact of a community-based preschool program on child development and schooling outcomes in high-poverty areas of rural Mozambique. Preschools were randomly assigned to 30 of 76 eligible communities. Using a panel survey of 2,000 households with preschool aged children, the study found that children who attended preschool experienced gains in cognitive development, communication, fine motor skills, and socio-emotional skills, scoring 0.33 standard deviations higher on a child development screening test. Preschoolers were 21 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in primary school, 14.9 percentage points more likely to enroll at the appropriate age, and had higher cognitive and communication scores in first grade. Treatment effects were generally larger for children from vulnerable households, those with higher initial development levels, and those with longer exposure to treatment. The preschool intervention also generated positive spillovers by increasing the school enrollment of older siblings and labor supply of adult caregivers. At a cost of approximately $3 per child per month, community-led preschools have the potential to be a cost-effective policy option for helping children meet their development potential even in the most resource deprived parts of the world.


  • Author

    Martinez,Sebastian, Naudeau,Sophie, Pereira,Vitor Azevedo

  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Policy Research Working Paper

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country


  • Region


  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    Preschool and child development under extreme poverty : evidence from a randomized experiment in rural Mozambique

  • Keywords

    Child development;primary school enrollment;parameter of interest;Early Childhood Development;gross motor skill;official poverty line;list of countries;primary school child;language of instruction;language and communication;labor force participation;primary school teacher;clean drinking water;human development outcome;total enrollment rate;health care system;child development services;community health worker;average treatment effect;average travel time;enrollment by age;parent and children;primary school dropout;enrollment of child;access to preschool;primary school performance;children at home;children under age;health and nutrition;poor rural community;construction of classroom;baseline survey;preschool program;preschool enrollment;standard deviation;operational area;children of ages;cognitive development;community level;young child;random sample;school readiness;eligible community;program effect;disadvantaged child;Civil War;primary caregiver;community mobilization;indicator variable;children's development;extreme poverty;adult caregiver;older sibling;community base;preschool classroom;positive spillover;cultural practice;factor analysis;early stimulation;population size;intervention district;physical development;household survey;geographic proximity;learning activity;household level;preschool study;inadequate health;child behavior;problem-solving ability;weighted average;causal attribution;poor health;individual question;preschool teacher;preschool evaluation;Child Health;estimate impact;field experiment;cognitive domain;rural area;hiv positive;numeracy instruction;old children;psychosocial support;demographic data;working memory;free election;low-income settings;financial resource;behavioral outcome;developmental milestone;construction material;nutritional indicator;program finance;subsistence agriculture;experimental design;vernacular language;poor household;descriptive statistic;social competence;school outcome;dropout rate;parent group;relative increase;aggregate measure;age range;physical health;preschool model;cross sections;instructor training;uncensored observation;downward bias;collected data;capacity constraint;eligible child;regression results;program impact;learning material;single parent;informal employment;high-risk behavior;human capital;safe water;development policy;Labor Market;sample design;seed capital;open access;random error;Mental health;educational outcome;basic training;cement floor;help child;instrumental variable;affluent areas;community structure;standard error;physical infrastructure;causal effect;fixed effect;cognitive ability;problem-solving skill;math skill;preschool facility;nominal fee;primary reason;future investment;residency requirements;harmful practice;preschool child;young adult;non-governmental organization;regression model;adult male;high migration;vulnerable household;learning opportunity;labor supply;poor child;academic performance;emergent literacy;academic environment;home environment;high-poverty areas;teacher assessment;intergenerational transmission;vulnerable group;simple regression;program participation;classroom activity;treatment group;building material;teaching activity;future earnings;estimation strategy;aggregate outcome;adequate ventilation;aboriginal child;school participation;racial bias;operational requirement;community treatment;sample selection;hiv epidemic;vulnerable child;total development;prevalence rate;individual level;child growth;regression analysis;evaluation strategy;household characteristic;total sample;health status;child's home;child's age;emotional maturity;screening tests;evaluation design;field work;sample household;



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)

  • Official PDF
  • TXT*
  • Total Downloads** :
  • Download Stats
  • *The text version is uncorrected OCR text and is included solely to benefit users with slow connectivity.


Martinez,Sebastian Naudeau,Sophie Pereira,Vitor Azevedo

Preschool and child development under extreme poverty : evidence from a randomized experiment in rural Mozambique (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 8290,Impact Evaluation series Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.