In the past, many programs and projects have supported early childhood development (ECD) in Cambodia, but there is a gap in the literature regarding the links between ECD and home care quality among children. The goal of this study is to determine whether there is a link between the quality of care at home and ECD for children who are 36–59 months old in Cambodia.
The study used data from the 2014 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS). Chi-square tests, univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to assess the association between home care quality and the composite Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI). Collinearity was checked between some variables before putting them in the final model.
In total, there was a weighted sample size of 1733 children aged 36–59 months. More than two-thirds of children (66.67%) accessed good home care quality, and 72.51% of them were developmentally on track. We found that children with good home care quality were more likely to be developmentally on track (AOR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.17–2.15) than those with poor home care quality. Attending an early childhood education program (ECE) was associated with ECD (AOR = 1.83; 95% CI: 1.05–3.19). Urban children were more likely to be developmentally on track than rural children (AOR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.03-2.52). Well-nourished children were more likely to be developmentally on track than those who were not (AOR = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.10–1.87).
The study suggests that home care quality and joining ECE programs are the main predictors of ECD. Moreover, urban residence and a better nutritional status are associated with ECD. Therefore, access to good home care, ECE interventions and nutritional programs should be targeted at rural children aged 36–59 months.