Promises for preschoolers: early childhood development and human capital accumulation


What: A two-day conference on early childhood development.

Opening address by Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development (TBC)

Where:  University College London, Christopher Ingold Auditorium, 20 Gordon Street, WC1 6BT, London, UK

What happens – or doesn’t happen – to children in the earliest years of their lives has an immediate effect on their well-being and their future. Early childhood development is now emerging as a priority issue in the policy agenda of developing countries, but do we know what investments need to be made to ensure that children are better equipped for primary school?
Leading experts, policymakers and eminent researchers will gather in London to discuss pioneering research in early childhood development and call for more investment in evidence-based pre-school programmes as part of the efforts in achieving the Millennium development goal for universal primary education.
A recent study funded by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and the World Bank showed that children in rural Mozambique who attended preschool programmes run by the non-governmental organisation Save the Children were 24 percent more likely to enroll in primary school and were significantly better equipped to learn than children not covered by the programme. As a result, early childhood education was included in the country’s 2012-16 national education plan. The government of Mozambique has also created a national early childhood development commission.
“The study, rare in Africa, has thrown light on the possibility that we in developing countries can explore to give our children a much better future,” said H.E. Zeferino Martins, Minister of Education, Mozambique. This is just one example of how evidence from impact evaluations can help improve lives.
The Mozambique study will be presented with other cutting edge research and discussed by policymakers during the two-day conference. The event is organized by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) in partnership with University College London, Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

For further information on the conference, please visit

Vice Versa

18 juni 2012