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Early Childhood Education and Development
Targeting pre-school children and their parents is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve outcomes. Indonesian children exposed to early childhood education typically score about 10 points higher in standardized tests in later years than their peers who haven’t.
But Indonesia lags behind neighboring countries, with a smaller proportion of children enrolling in pre-school programs than in Malaysia and Thailand. Nor is it purely a question of education: a 2013 study showed that 37 percent of Indonesian under-fives suffered from stunted development.
A lack of early childhood education resources and awareness of its importance combined with high costs and fragmented services further exacerbate the challenge.
Our report identifies some clear opportunities for improvement in Indonesia through:
- Starting early, as nutrition interventions from conception to age two have the highest returns
- Integrating siloed programs to create a holistic solution
- Educating parents on the need for children to learn broader cognitive and social skills
- Educating parents on proper nutrition
- Encouraging government involvement
- Focusing attention on teacher quality rather than infrastructure development