Medium-term protective effects of quality early childhood education during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana

Sharon Wolf, Elisabetta Aurino, Noelle M. Suntheimer, Esinam A. Avornyo, Edward Tsinigo, Jere R. Behrman, J. Lawrence Aber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic led to extended school closures globally. Access to remote learning opportunities during this time was vastly unequal within and across countries. Higher-quality early childhood education (ECE) can improve later academic outcomes, but longer-term effects during crises are unknown. This study provides the first experimental evidence of how previously attending a higher-quality ECE program affected child engagement in remote learning and academic scores during pandemic-related school closures in Ghana. Children (N = 1668; 50.1% male; Mage = 10.1 years; all Ghanaian nationals) who attended higher-quality ECE at age 4 or 5 years had greater engagement in remote learning (d =.14) in October 2020, but not better language and literacy and math scores. Previous exposure to higher-quality ECE may support educational engagement during crises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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