Save the Children Italy Releases Key Report on Child Poverty and Early Childhood Development


Using IDELA for National Level Insight

A new early childhood report from Save the Children Italy, titled, “Il Miglior Inizio” or “The Best Start” is making waves in Italian news and media. The report’s research was done using IDELA and examined four year old children in 20 Italian pre-primary schools. The selected schools included low-income, medium and high-income areas, in order to have good variability of socio-economic status. The goal of the survey was to assess the level of children’s development, and determine if there are significant differences in children’s development associated with the children’s socio-economic status and/or their participation in childcare between 0 and 3 years of age.

English speaking audiences might have a harder time finding English language content about the report, so look below for some key findings:
– The data shows inequalities in IDELA outcomes tied to parent socio-economic status, suggesting that inequalities begin in the early years.
– Children who attended a child care program were more likely to have higher IDELA scores. Children from families with lower socioeconomic status who attended child care programs improved their score, reducing the learning gap between children of lower and higher socioeconomic status. The greatest gains came from children who attended center-based childcare and for a minimum of three years.
– Higher IDELA scores were linked to parenting practices like spending time outdoors with children, reading books and doing leisure activities together.

Challenges to ECCD Access

A key challenge is ensuring all children have access to child care centers. Newspaper La Repubblica reports that in Naples, less than 8% of children have access to services, and in areas like Afragola and Torre del Greco, access drops to less than 3%.

Save the Children Italy is using this new research to put pressure on the Italian government to take action. It advocates for increased childcare availability, especially for poorest children, and improved parental leave policies to increase the quality time children are able to spend with caregivers.

#asilinido and #povertàeducativa

De Fazio, Bianca. Asili nido, la Campania all’ultimo posto in Italia. La Reppublica. September 8, 2019. nido_la_campania_all_ultimo_posto_in_italia-235501411/. Accessed September 9, 2019.