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Niger Sponsorship Early Childhood Development Baseline Assessment

This report describes the results of a baseline learning assessment of children attending five early childhood development centers (Jardin d'Enfants Communautaire; JEC) in the Maradi Region of Niger. All five JEC in the sample are participating in Emergent Literacy and Math (ELM, or LaLeMAPE in French) activities as part of Save the Children’s sponsorship programing. Data collection took place in November 2016 at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year and includes 98 children and their caregivers.

The objective of the baseline is to explore the quality of children’s home learning environment and caregivers’ attitudes towards early childhood development, identify children’s strengths and weaknesses in four developmental domains (emergent literacy, emergent numeracy, socioemotional development, and motor development), and assess the relationship between background factors, the home learning environment and developmental outcomes. Results will be used to inform ELM program design and will serve as the baseline reference point for a subsequent data collection, following the same children, scheduled for the end of the 2016/17 school year (May-June 2017).

Regarding the home learning environment, access to books and play materials is limited, home learning interactions (playing with children, reading and telling stories, practicing numbers and letters, naming objects, among other activities) are common. These details should be explored further through qualitative approaches and/or conversations built in to routine monitoring visits, especially considering concerns about the accuracy of these data.

Child assessment data indicate that there is a need to support children to develop literacy and numeracy skills—scores are highest for socioemotional and motor development, and lowest for literacy and numeracy. Finally, there is a skills gap between girls and boys at baseline—with girls falling slightly behind boys in literacy, motor and overall development.

Published 2017-07-06

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