The state of children from birth to age 5 across developed nations: how do their early childhood policies compare?
Dodge, Kenneth A
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Early childhood development (ECD) has a lifelong impact on individuals and leads to positive outcomes for entire societies. The experiences children have from birth to age 5 are critical in supporting cognitive and socio-emotional development throughout their lives. ECD should encompass quality healthcare, education, and care from parents and caregivers. As high- income countries with a leadership position in the world, member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) promote economic growth, prosperity and sustainable development within societies across the globe through data collection and analysis followed by policy discussions and recommendations. Therefore, their status in the field of ECD can inform the rest of the world on effective policies and programs. In this study, I look at the quality of early childhood policies and services within OECD nations. I first use quantitative data to rank each of the 35 OECD countries in each of three domains of early childhood development: family support, health, and education. At this stage, we already notice that the United States ranks poorly in all domains of ECD. I then qualitatively analyze the highest and lowest performing countries within each category to understand what policies and programs might be behind their positive and negative outcomes, respectively. This analysis shows that inequality is a major driver of poor outcomes within OECD countries, and that universal coverage might be an effective strategy to raise the entire country’s population, as seen in the top performing countries. Therefore, establishing policies promoting equality may be the solution to improve the state of young children in the United States.
DepartmentGlobal Health Institute
CitationMarchand, Virginie (2017). The state of children from birth to age 5 across developed nations: how do their early childhood policies compare?. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/14218.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers