Risks to child development and school readiness among children under six in Pakistan : Findings from a nationally representative phone surveyThis paper analyzes the risks to child development and school readiness among children under age 6 in Pakistan. Drawing on a nationally representative telephone survey conducted between December 2021 and February 2022, it presents the first nationally representative estimates of child development for children under 3 years of age and school readiness for children 3 to 6 years of age, using internationally validated instruments. The paper examines how risk factors such as parental distress, lack of psychosocial stimulation, food insecurity, low maternal education, no enrollment in early childhood education, and living in a rural area are associated with children’s outcomes. The data indicate that more than half (57 percent) of parents with children under age 3 were distressed and that 61 percent of households reported cutting down on the size of or skipping meals since the start of the pandemic. The data reveal that over half of parents fail to engage in adequate psychosocial stimulation with their child and enrollment in early childhood education is very low (39 percent). The paper finds that child development outcomes decline rapidly as the number of risks increase. Specifically, for children under 3 years, lack of psychosocial stimulation at home and higher levels of parental distress were most significantly associated with lower child development levels.
Organization: World Bank Group
Web link: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/38274