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Coautores: Orazio Attanasio (UCL), Helen Baker-Henningham (Bangor University), Costas Meghir (Yale University) y Marta Rubio-Codina (Inter-American Development Bank)
In this paper, we evaluate the effects of the implementation of a structured early stimulation curriculum and a nutritional intervention through public parenting support services for vulnerable families living in rural areas of Colombia (known as FAMI), on children’s development and parental behaviors. We use a clustered randomized controlled trial that assigns 87 municipalities to treatment and control, to evaluate the effects of these interventions on children growth and development. 1,460 children younger than 1 year of age were assessed at baseline. The interventions were also complemented with training, supervision and coaching of FAMI program facilitators. We assessed program effects on children’s nutritional status by anthropometric measures, cognitive, receptive and expressive language, and fine and gross motor using the Bayley scales of infant development-III and socio-emotional development based on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire for the socioemotional domain. The interventions had positive and significant effects on Bayley-III cognitive scale (0.15 SD), receptive language (0.11 SD), expressive language (0.14 SD) and gross motor development (0.14 SD). We also report a reduction in the risk of stunting of -0.13 SDs. We do not find any effects on socio-emotional development. We report positive and statistically significant effects on the number of toy materials at home (0.36 SD), the number of varieties of play materials (0.28 SD), and the number of varieties of play activities with adults at home over the past three days (0.17 SD).