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Early childhood developmental status and its associated factors in Bangladesh: a comparison of two consecutive nationally representative surveys
, Md Jamal Uddin,


Inadequate cognitive and socio-emotional development in children leads to physical and mental illness. We aimed to investigate the status of early childhood development (ECD) and its associated factors. Additionally, aimed to compare the changes of significantly associated factors using two multiple indicator cluster surveys (MICS) in Bangladesh.


We used data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) 2012 and 2019 nationally representative surveys. A total of 17,494 children aged 36–59 months were included in the analysis. The outcome variable was ECD status: either developmentally on-track or not. We used bivariable analysis and crude and adjusted multivariable logistic models to assess the ECD status and its associated factors.


Comparing both MICS surveys, the overall and individual domains of ECD status improved from 2012 (65.46%) to 2019 (74.86%), and the indicators of child literacy-numeracy domain improved from 21.2 to 28.8%, physical domain improved from 92.2 to 98.4%, and social-emotional domain improved from 68.4 to 72.7%. The learning approach domain was 87.5% in 2012 and increased to 91.4% in 2019. According to the adjusted logistic model in both surveys (2012 and 2019), the age of 4 years had an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 1.61 and 1.78 times higher developmentally on track than the age of 3. Female children were 1.42 (in 2012) and 1.44 (in 2019) times more developmentally on track than males. Compared to mothers with only primary education, children raised by mothers with secondary or higher education were 1.77 and 1.50 times more on track in their development. Moreover, Children from affluent families had 1.32- and 1.26 times higher odds- on track than those from the poorest families. Families with books had 1.50 and 1.53 times higher developmentally on track than their counterparts.

Conclusion and recommendation

In summary, our study shows that the overall ECD status improved between MICS 2012 and MICS 2019. Important factors influence ECD status, including early childhood education programs, families’ possession of children’s books, mothers’ educational level, and wealth index. The findings of our study will help making necessary public health-related initiatives in Bangladesh to improve ECD program

Journal or Conference Name
BMC Public Health
Publication Year