INTRODUCTION: Early birth registration, childhood care, and education are essential rights for children and are important for their development and education. This study investigates changes and socioeconomic inequalities in early birth registration and indicators of care and education in children aged under 5 years in Vietnam.
DESIGN: The analyses reported here used data from the Vietnam Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) in 2006 and 2011. The sample sizes in 2006 and 2011 were 2,680 and 3,678 for children under 5 years of age. Four indicators of childcare and preschool education were measured: birth registration, possession of books, preschool education attendance, and parental support for early childhood education. The concentration index (CI) was used to measure inequalities in gender, maternal education, geographical area, place of residence, ethnicity, and household wealth.
RESULTS: There were some improvements in birth registration (86.4% in 2006; 93.8% in 2011), preschool education attendance (57.1% in 2006; 71.9% in 2011), and parental support for early childhood education (68.9 and 76.8%, respectively). However, the possession of books was lower (24.7% in 2006; 19.6% in 2011) and became more unequal over time (i.e. CI=0.370 in 2006; CI=0.443 in 2011 in wealth inequality). Inequalities in the care and education of children were still persistent. The largest inequalities were for household wealth and rural versus urban areas.
CONCLUSION: Although there have been some improvements in this area, inequalities still exist. Policy efforts in Vietnam should be directed towards closing the gap between different socioeconomic groups for the care and education of children under 5 years old.
2016. Vol. 9