About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6508-6525
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

VALUE ADDED BY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: DOES THE NEW DUTCH PROGRAMME ‘SPEELPLEZIER’ MAKE DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN READY FOR SCHOOL?

R. Bauchmuller

Maastricht University (NETHERLANDS)
Early childhood education programmes are presumed to have positive effects in particular for children who are at risk of falling behind during their schooling career because of their disadvantaged family background. In this paper I look at the Dutch early childhood education programme ‘Speelplezier’ which has recently been certified by the Dutch government as being ‘in theory’ effective in raising children’s readiness for elementary schooling. The programme shall stimulate the linguistic, cognitive and social development of children between ages 2.5-6 years. Language skills are promoted in playful activities that are guided by childcare staff. Before its official recognition it has been used in a couple of pre-schools (ages 2.5-4 years) and elementary schools (ages 4-6 years) in the Dutch province of Limburg. I use a rich dataset covering the first three school years at elementary schools in the Southern part of Limburg for the year 2008/09. It includes, among others, language and cognitive test scores, school registry information, a survey among parents as well as additional quality information on early childhood care and education institutions and elementary schools.

In order to evaluate the impact of ‘Speelplezier’ versus regular pre-school group attendance, I estimate a linear production function. I do a regression of test scores on the ‘Speelplezier’ attendance under the control for various child and family related characteristics. Information on spatial distances between homes and pre-schools and municipality identifiers account for potential biases that are due to parental selection into a specific pre-school. I assume that to fit their preferred quality ‘better’ parents would consider pre-school options which are further away from their home and that ‘less good’ parents are less informed about the actual difference between a regular pre-school group and one which runs a certified early childhood education programme, thus preferring closely available pre-school options. Moreover, I use propensity score matching based on a large number of indicators to match children attending Speelplezier versus regular preschools. I find positive effects on language development in particular for children of low educated parents and parents with foreign backgrounds when attending a Speelplezier pre-school as compared to pre-schools applying other or no early education programmes.
@InProceedings{BAUCHMULLER2010VAL,
author = {Bauchmuller, R.},
title = {VALUE ADDED BY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: DOES THE NEW DUTCH PROGRAMME ‘SPEELPLEZIER’ MAKE DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN READY FOR SCHOOL?},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6508-6525}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Bauchmuller
TI - VALUE ADDED BY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: DOES THE NEW DUTCH PROGRAMME ‘SPEELPLEZIER’ MAKE DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN READY FOR SCHOOL?
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 6508
EP - 6525
ER -
R. Bauchmuller (2010) VALUE ADDED BY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: DOES THE NEW DUTCH PROGRAMME ‘SPEELPLEZIER’ MAKE DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN READY FOR SCHOOL?, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 6508-6525.
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