Developmental potential in the first 5 years for children in developing countries

SOURCE: The Lancet
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2007
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Grantham-McGregor, Y.B.Cheung, S.Cueto, P.Glewwe, L.Richter, B.Strupp
KEYWORDS: CHILD DEVELOPMENT, EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 4828

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Abstract

Many children younger than 5 years in developing countries are exposed to multiple risks, including poverty, malnutrition, poor health, and unstimulating home environments, which detrimentally affect their cognitive, motor and social-emotional development. There are few national statistics on the development of young children in developing countries. The authors therefore identified two factors with available worldwide data - the prevalence of early childhood stunting and the number of people living in absolute poverty - to use as indicators of poor development. The authors show that both indicators are closely associated with poor cognitive and educational performance In children and use them to estimate that over 200 million children under 5 years are not fulfilling their developmental potential. Most of these children live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. These disadvantaged children are likely to do poorly in school and subsequently have low incomes, high fertility and provide poor care for their children, thus contributing to the intergenerational transmission of poverty.