The WISE Research Series

2017 WISE Research #10

Early childhood development (ECD) in Qatar: Status and opportunities for the Future

The report provides an overview of the state of early childhood development (ECD) in Qatar, along with empirical evidence on the potential benefits of early childhood education (ECE) in the country. Children who attend ECE programs in Qatar have better early development outcomes in literacy, numeracy, socioemotional, executive functioning, and self-regulation skills. These associated benefits are also observed later in life; students who attended ECE performed significantly better than their peers at age 15 in mathematics, reading, and science, after accounting for school, teacher and family characteristics. Despite these benefits, coverage of ECE, and more broadly ECD programs, is low in Qatar, particularly given its high level of economic development. The report sets forward recommendations to strengthen the policy environment for ECD in the country, improve the coverage and scope of programs, and establish a comprehensive quality assurance system for continuous quality improvement.

Download the Full Report in English Download the executive summary in English


Ms Samira Nikaein Towfighian

Ms Samira Nikaein Towfighian
Education specialist, World Bank

Ms Samira Nikaein Towfighian is an Education Specialist at the World Bank, where she works on lending operations and education studies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region.

Ms Lindsay Adams

Ms Lindsay Adams
Consultant, World Bank

Ms Lindsay Adams is a consultant focusing on early childhood development, with work spanning the global education, health and nutrition sectors.


Ms Lianqin Wang

Ms Lianqin Wang
Lead education specialist, World Bank

Ms Lianqin Wang is a Lead Education Specialist with 20 years of experience at the World Bank.

Dr. Quentin Wodon

Dr. Quentin Wodon
Lead economist, World Bank

Dr. Quentin Wodon is a Lead Economist with the World Bank.

This report has been reviewed by

  • Dr. David Whitebread, Acting Director (External Relations) at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL)
  • Ms Jo Ellis, Assistant Principal at Qatar Academy Early Education Centre

Research Organization