This report examines an early childhood development (ECD) programme in Nepal and its impact, not only on young children, but also on their families and communities. It explores, in particular, the impact the programme has had on children’s transition to school, a significant issue in a country where many children never start school and where those who do start drop-out in large numbers during the first and second year. The study took place in 38 communities that have ECD centers in an extremely impoverished district in the eastern terai.
The paper reports that children who attended ECD showed consistent gains in starting school, maintaining attendance and engagement at school and success in examinations. The paper reports that this success is especially noticeable for girls and dalit children, and includes some descriptive statistics to make this point. The paper also reports the gains made in educating parents on the benefits of quality ECD and the parent’s growing confidence in these benefits.