IDB studies social program Cuna Mas in Peru

09:30 | Washington D.C. (U.S.), Sep. 10.

The Inter-American Development Bank's experts and thought leaders in early childhood development studied Peruvian social program Cuna Mas in order to understand the effects of childcare quality on child development.

The State-run Cuna Mas offers childcare services to children aged 6-36 months in urban areas with high rates of poverty. 

It should be noted the IDB collected data on 291 Cuna Mas centers, 2 caregivers in each center, and over 2,000 children.

"We also filmed caregivers' interactions with the children in their care, analyzed these videos using a protocol that allows for scoring the quality of adult-child interactions in this type of setting, and measured children's development in their homes," the article reads. 

Likewise, they found that children exposed to caregivers who demonstrate higher-quality interactions had better cognitive, language, and fine motor development.

Furthermore, the experts decided to study children 2 years of age and younger because this is the age group for which the evidence is scarce. Yet, this is an age group that should be paid careful attention to: studies have shown that socioeconomic gradients between poorer and richer children appear at a very early age.

The IDB used an observation tool called the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) with the purpose of coding the interactions between the two caregivers and the children. 

CLASS focuses on the frequency, type, and nature of child and caregiver interactions. These aspects of quality have been found to matter most for child development. 

"These results have important policy implications: the quality of interactions between caregivers and children matters," expert Norbert Schady said.

"Given the increase in childcare coverage, in many developing countries in recent years, policy makers should pay careful attention to the quality of care, especially to quality of interactions between caregivers and children," he concluded.


Published: 9/10/2019