Is Early Education too Early for Some? Assessing the Impact of Preschool on Learning and Achievement Outcomes in Peru
The Education for All initiative was developed to increase coordination between aid agencies investing in international education. One of the consequences of this global movement is that its focus on increasing access to early childhood and primary school programs has crowded out investments in later stages of education, including secondary education and other programs targeted at youth. To evaluate the impact of investing in one aspect of the EFA goals - early childhood education - this paper uses a sample of children from Peru to assess the effect of attending preschool on learning and achievement outcomes. The data comes from the Young Lives Project at Oxford University. The results of this study suggest that, for the case of Peru, while attending preschool does lead to learning and achievement gains for the children within the sample, these gains fade away substantially by the time they are in secondary school. Instead, educational resources available to the child prove to be a consistently stronger determinant of success in primary and secondary school.
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