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Study Overview

The effect of community-based parental education sessions, playgroups, and home visits on early childhood development in the Philippines
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First Read is a Save the Children intervention that seeks to improve early childhood development by improving parental capacity at the community level through direct programming and at the governmental level through advocacy. This evaluation attempts to measure the impact of the community-level programming on early childhood development in contrast to indirect programming alone. 48 barangays (Philippine local administrative units) are randomized into Year 1 and Year 2 for direct implementation of community-level programming. This programming comprises parental education sessions, community playgroups, and home visits. This research will measure development with an adapted version of the Caregiver Reported Early Development Index (CREDI), a tool designed to assess development in very young children aged 0-3 years. The original CREDI relies exclusively on a caregiver interview. In addition to this interview, this research adds an observation component that attempts to measure many of the same items as the CREDI through direct observation.

Registration Citation:

Seiden, J. and Teodosio, M., 2016. The effect of community-based parental education sessions, playgroups, and home visits on early childhood development in the Philippines. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie113

Additional Keywords:
early childhood development, ECCD, CREDI, stimulation, parent education sessions, playgroups
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Jonathan Seiden
Save the Children US
Name of Second PI:
Melville Teodosio
Save the Children International

Study Sponsor

Save the Children UK
Study Sponsor Location:
United Kingdom

Research Partner

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Intervention Overview


Community-level intervention consists of three main parts: -Parental Education Sessions: 12 weekly sessions for parents and their children which introduce the importance of early childhood simulation and provide practical ideas on how to incorporate best practices into daily life. -Playgroups: supportive childcare that is open to parents and children who have completed the PESs. (Ongoing throughout the year) -Home visits: twice yearly visits at home to reinforce ECD practices and provide demonstrations of how to use household materials in play and stimulation. The evaluation contains a single treatment arm to assess the suite of these three ECD improvement opportunities over the course of a year. As each one of the components is relatively "low touch", we wish to evaluate the impact of the suite of programming rather than any one individual aspect. Control groups will have access to various other ECD opportunities. Most notably, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) national CCT program includes daycare attendance and family development sessions. As such, our evaluation assesses the impact of additional ECD services above and beyond existing access.

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Save the Children International
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Prudence Foundation
Type of Organization:
Private for profit organization

Intervention Timing

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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
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Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Difference in difference/fixed effects
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

This evaluation will randomly assign the order of implementation of the Phase 2 of First Read in the Philippines at the barangay (local administrative unit) level. All barangays will eventually receive the program, but for the evaluation Year 1 (of phase 2) barangays will be considered treatment, and Year 2 barangays will be considered control. The randomization aspect of this study only determines the order in which areas receive programming, not whether or not areas receive programming. The primary evaluation will examine an intent-to-treat (ITT) estimate of programmatic impact. In addition, we plan on calculating a local average treatment effect with our randomization as an instrumental variable influencing usage of ECD services. Barangays are located in Luzon and South Mindanao and are not representative of the Philippines as a nation. As such, this research design provides strong internal validity but limited external validity.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The evaluation attempts to measure overall early childhood development and its sub-domains of 1) motor skills 2) cognitive and language skills and 3) social emotional development. As a secondary measure, we will be looking at changes in caregiver attitudes and practices as reported on a household survey.

Unit of Analysis:
individual level: child-level outcomes in communities

If parents receive additional training and guidance on early childhood education best practices above and beyond what is currently available, and have access to stimulating play groups, then childhood development measures will be more rapidly attained.

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
barangay-level (local administrative unit)
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Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
24 treatment barangay, 24 control barangay

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Outcomes Data

Adapted CREDI 0-3 tool + observation.
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Treatment Assignment Data

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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Study Stopped