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Supporting disadvantaged children enter kindergarten: experimental evidence from Bulgaria (English)

This paper presents findings from a large scale multi-arm randomized control trial implemented in 2014-2015 across 236 poor settlements across Bulgaria with the aim to improve full-day kindergarten participation of poor children, especially Roma and Turkish. It finds that removing the costs of kindergarten reduced the share of children aged 3-6 not registered in kindergarten by half – while also significantly increasing attendance by about 20 percent. Additional financial incentives of either BGN7 or BGN20 monthly conditional on attendance had no clear impact on registration and attendance. Organizing community meetings to provide information about the importance of kindergarten also did not impact participation in kindergarten, although it slightly improved parental perceptions of the benefit of kindergarten and raised parental aspirations for their children – especially girls. Overall, removing kindergarten costs was thus the most cost-effective strategy to increase kindergarten participation. However, the effect on short-term child development – emergent literacy, numeracy, motor and socio-emotional skills – is mixed: slightly positive for Bulgarian children, while negative for Roma and Turkish children. These results suggest that all children may not immediately benefit from kindergarten, especially minority children who may need additional support to successfully transition to, and benefit from, kindergarten.

Details

  • Document Date

    2017/06/01

  • Document Type

    Working Paper

  • Report Number

    116056

  • Volume No

    1

  • Total Volume(s)

    1

  • Country

    Bulgaria,

  • Region

    Europe and Central Asia,

  • Disclosure Date

    2017/06/12

  • Disclosure Status

    Disclosed

  • Doc Name

    Supporting disadvantaged children enter kindergarten: experimental evidence from Bulgaria

  • Keywords

    free access;full-day kindergarten;Early childhood education;child support;quality early childhood education;financial intervention;full day kindergarten;Early Childhood Development;conditional cash transfer;early child development;information campaign;minority child;single parent household;education of parent;compulsory preschool education;lack of awareness;difference in outcomes;cost of education;participation of child;Benefits of Education;share of children;households with child;labor market outcome;village or town;privileges and immunity;impact on child;level of employment;human capital formation;children in preschool;children at home;central government funding;theory of change;complete secondary school;high unemployment rate;literacy and numeracy;community data;children of ages;financial incentive;eligible child;Early Education;parental involvement;child allowance;household income;school year;treatment group;young child;disadvantaged child;preschool program;financial help;baseline survey;educational activities;standard error;household interview;labor supply;program impact;child benefit;information option;disadvantaged community;household head;disadvantaged family;educational service;statistical model;legal provision;evaluation design;monthly income;learning assessment;household size;missing value;fixed effect;household survey;teaching assistant;parental education;opportunity cost;food coupon;unannounced visit;impact indicator;previous one;program assignment;information component;random walk;community level;poor child;financial cost;financial contribution;literature review;vulnerable child;simple model;cultural context;internal consistency;assessing child;quantitative analysis;parental care;diverse population;research proposal;benefit equal;average household;average age;Child care;local mayor;working-age population;Political Economy;expensive treatment;living condition;study design;official statistic;natural way;educational system;educational outcome;social status;quality education;disabled parent;summary statistic;survey data;picture book;minority household;geographical mobility;attrition rates;primary caregiver;sole responsibility;copyright owner;research assistance;transportation cost;social worker;original work;spot check;monitoring scheme;disposable income;population target;monetary cost;social exclusion;european commission;professional life;scientific literature;poor settlements;prolonged absence;formal costs;community meetings;municipal authority;estimation result;disadvantaged people;greater access;quality preschool;learning environment;social interaction;emergent literacy;social gap;school enrolment;commercial purpose;child outcome;preschool enrollment;block grant;governmental financing;infrastructure maintenance;positive impact;attendance check;child rearing;parental choice;treatment effect;intervention programs;poor community;basic model;eligible community;community information;information control;increased access;parental skills;public community;Public Transportation;addressing inequality;disadvantaged population;cognitive stimulation;productivity rates;regular attendance;community intervention;developmental outcomes;reducing inequality;explicit subsidy;high enrollment;enrollment increase;fee revenue;minority group;early literacy;financial information;

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Citation

Supporting disadvantaged children enter kindergarten: experimental evidence from Bulgaria (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/847901497276242862/Supporting-disadvantaged-children-enter-kindergarten-experimental-evidence-from-Bulgaria