This paper evaluates the short-term impact of an early childhood curriculum intervention on child development. Teachers in rural childcare centers in northeastern Thailand were encouraged to employ the new curriculum, which is based primarily on the HighScope approach. We overcome the endogenous decision of teachers to adopt the new curriculum by using the randomization of additional teachers as an instrument. We find that the new curriculum significantly improved child development in several dimensions, including gross motor, fine motor, expressive language, and personal and social skills, with an effect size of roughly 0.54 standard deviations for the benchmark case. The results are robust with regards to various estimation methods, child development measures, and sample selections. We also find that the impact of the new curriculum is quite homogeneous across sub-groups except in some dimensions, notably parental absence and teacher's job status.
First version, September 13, 2019
I21: Analysis of Education
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity