Early Childhood Development (ECD) is multidimensional, encompassing several aspects of a child’s well-being. Measuring it is a growing science. Even though there is a plethora of evidence in the developed world on the necessity and positive impact of early childhood interventions, knowledge on child development and evidence on what works in different geographic, socio-cultural and economic contexts in developing countries is still emerging.
MICS has been working with countries and partners to close this knowledge gap by developing indicators to measure ECD outcomes. During MICS4 an index was added to the early childhood development module to measure developmental status of children within the domains of physical, literacy-numeracy, social-emotional and learning (the Early Childhood Development Index-ECDI). Prior to the collection of the ECDI in MICS, there was no internationally comparable data on the developmental status of children. Now, such data exist for more than 60 countries, making MICS the largest source of comparable data on children’s development status for low- and middle-income nations.
In September 2018, UNICEF and Mexico´s National Institute of Public Health (INSP) collected data to redesign the ECDI to be used at the global level in MICS surveys. This Index will measure indicator 4.2.1 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: Proportion of children under 5 years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being, by sex.
A sample of 1,200 households was visited in rural and urban areas in the State of Puebla, Mexico. In each household, interviewers used a tablet-based questionnaire to interview the mothers of children aged 2, 3 and 4. Children in these ages were measured (height and weight) and were applied a short test to evaluate their cognitive and psychomotor development.
The fieldwork team, trained by the INSP, was composed of interviewers, nurses and field coordinators.