The purpose of this evaluation was to measure the impact of a network of community-based preschools in the West Nile region of Uganda on children’s language, social, and early literacy skill development as compared to children who did not attend preschool living in the same communities and children who attended private preschools in the city center. Specifically, the evaluation aimed to answer the following research questions:
- What is the impact of community-based preschools on children’s early childhood outcomes as compared to students who did not attend preschool living in the same communities?
- What is the difference in early childhood outcomes between children attending community-based preschools in rural settings and children attending private preschools in the city center?
Methods: This study employed a non-equivalent comparison group design to evaluate the difference between children attending community-based preschool, children who did not attend preschool, and children attending private preschool in the city center. The sample included 56 children attending community-based preschools, 57 children who did not attend preschool, and 34 children who attended private preschools. Measures included the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Third Edition (ASQ-3), the Rapid Letter Name Assessment (D. Fuchs et al., 2001), an assessment of early literacy skills (e.g., identify front and back cover of book, direction of print), and a household questionnaire (MICS; UNICEF, 2018). Researchers employed a multi-level regression approach to answer the research questions central to this study.
Results: Preliminary results of the evaluation indicate that children attending community-based preschools out-performed children who did not attend preschool and performed at a similar level to children attending private preschools in the city center.
Conclusions: This presentation will provide an overview of this evaluation, including methods, results, and implications for practice and future research on early childhood education in developing countries.