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Title: Preschool attendance: a multilevel analysis of individual and community factors in 21 low and middle-income countries

Authors: Marcos Delprato; Máiréad Dunne; Benjamin Zeitlyn

Addresses: Global Monitoring Report Team, UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris, France; Centre for International Education, School of Education and Social Work, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QQ, UK ' Centre for International Education, School of Education and Social Work, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QQ, UK ' Centre for International Education, School of Education and Social Work, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QQ, UK

Abstract: This paper investigates how preschool attendance is shaped by individual and community factors for 71,806 children from 14,303 communities in 21 low-to middle-income countries using a multilevel analysis. We assess how these mechanisms vary by community and country wealth and the extent to which the variation of preschool attendance can be explained by the characteristics of children living in these communities. We find that of the total variation, 36% was attributable to communities and 12% to countries, with children's demographic and socioeconomic characteristics' explaining 23% of the between community variation. Community wealth and health are crucial determinants; in poor communities with high stunting rates, the chances of preschool attendance are at least halved. Our results suggest that the effect of community on preschool attendance is stronger in poorer countries with greater inequality between communities.

Keywords: preschool attendance; wealth heterogeneity; communities; stunting rates; contextual effects; multilevel analysis; DHS data; preschools; low-income countries; middle-income countries; demographic characteristics; socioeconomic characteristics; inequality; community wealth; community health.

DOI: 10.1504/IJQRE.2016.073633

International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education, 2016 Vol.3 No.1/2, pp.1 - 23

Available online: 15 Dec 2015 *

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