Does Early Childhood Education in India Provide Any Dividend to the Children?

The project aimed to investigate the extent to which existing measures in the field of early childhood education in India have positive effects on the later development of children. In developing countries such as India, where the optimal allocation of limited funding to different areas and programs is very important to accelerate development, it is particularly important to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of publicly funded programs such as ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services). Therefore, the focus of the project was on the question of how existing early education programs in India play a role in child development. In particular, it will be examined whether measures in the field of early childhood education in India bring advantages to the participating children with regard to their cognitive and social skills and whether and to what extent the various measures implemented differ in this respect. The results can be used to revise existing programs and implement policy measures to make them more effective (e.g., by including them in curricula and frameworks for pre-school institutions in India).


Duration: 02/01/2019–09/30/2019


Promoter: German Research Foundation (DFG)



Albeit  the existing  evidence, available mainly  from  thedeveloped countries, that  attending preschool would providechildren with greater skill accumulation, the results clearly showed that  children  ascertained  skills  only  partially in  the  Indian  context.  The  study  shows  that children who attended preschool acquired greater social skills, but not necessarily cognitive skills. Also, the type of preschool attended was not a significant  determinant of children’s skill development.  It  is,  thus,  essential  to  make  the  existing  early  childhood  education  and  care provisions moreeffective,so  that  children  from  all  tiers  of  society  can  have  a  wholesome foundation.


A detailed project report has been published as LIfBi Working Paper No. 90 in September 2020.