Table 1

Summary of included studies

(A) Studies on developmental delays and stimulating parenting practices
Authors (year)Year of data collectionProvincenChild age
Developmental delaysParenting practices
1Jin et al62 (2007)2003Anhui1000–24Gesell development schedulesNo
2Ma et al63 (2008)2005–2006Guangdong7494–8BSID-INo
3Yang et al64 (2019)2006–2008Shaanxi65724BSID-IINo
4Yue et al65 (2017)2014Shaanxi144218–30BSID-IFCI*
5Zhou et al66 (2019)2013Shanxi, Guizhou29530–35ASQ-3MICS/FCI†
6Zhang et al14 (2018)2013Shanxi, Guizhou25146–35ASQ-3No
7Wei et al67 (2018)2013Shanxi, Guizhou26643–35ASQ:SENo
8Luo et al68 (2019)
Emmers et al (2020), unpublished manuscript
9Wang et al17 (2020)2016Shaanxi18096–24BSID-III, ASQ:SEFCI
10Qian et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2016Shaanxi10686–18BSID-IIIFCI*
11Li et al (2018), unpublished manuscript2016Henan2736–36ASQ-3FCI*
12Zhou et al69 (2019)2016–2017Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang17551–59ASQ-3No
13Wang et al19 (2019)‡2017Beijing,
14Zhong et al70 (2019)2017Guizhou4441–23BSID-IIINo
15Bai et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2018Shaanxi2606–36ASQ-3, ASQ:SEFCI
16Tan et al71 (2020)2018Jiangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hebei, Henan8470–36ASQ:SEMICS/FCI†
17Wang et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2019Yunnan10146–24BSID-IIIFCI
18Emmers and Wang (2020), unpublished manuscript2019Shaanxi1396–36BSID-III, ASQ-3FCI
Total1419 762
(B) RCTs that evaluate ECD interventions in China
Authors (year)Year of baseline data collectionStudy designProvincenAge of child at baseline
1Jin et al62 (2007)2003RCTAnhui1000–24SOH6-monthly6 months
2aSylvia et al54 (2020)2014Cluster-RCTShaanxi51318–30S+NOHWeekly6 months
2bWang et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2014Cluster-RCTShaanxi51318–30S+NOHWeekly6 months
3Heckman et al72 (2020)2015Cluster-RCTGansu156712–46SOHWeekly2 years
4aLuo et al18 (2019)2015Cluster-RCTYunnan, Hebei4496–18S+NOHBi-weekly1 year
4bEmmers et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2015Cluster-RCTYunnan, Hebei4496–18S+NOHBi-weekly2 years
5aZhong et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2016Cluster-RCTShaanxi17206–24SO+G+PCWeekly one-on-one training sessions, unlimited access to centres and group sessions§1 year
5bQian et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2016Cluster-RCTShaanxi8806–18SO+G+PCWeekly one-on-one training sessions, unlimited access to centres and group sessions§2 years
6Li et al (2018), unpublished manuscript2016Cluster-RCTHenan17756–48SO+G+PC+HPeriodic one-on-one training sessions, unlimited access to centres and group sessions§10 months
7Bai et al (2020), unpublished manuscript2018Cluster-RCTShaanxi9566–36SO+G+PC+HWeekly one-on-one training sessions, unlimited access to centres and group sessions§9 months
Total613 766
  • *Modified FCI assessed parenting practices by the primary caregiver in the day before the survey.

  • †MICS/FCI assessed parenting practices by the child’s mother/father in the three days before the survey.

  • ‡Wang et al (2019) use a pooled sample, including both original survey data (not previously reported) and survey data from previously reported studies, also included in this review. For our analysis, we include only the original data reported in Wang et al (2019). The remaining observations are reported in Luo et al (2019), Emmers et al (2020) and Zhong et al (2017).

  • §ECD centres were installed at centrally located places in intervention communities. Caregivers could decide how often they wanted to frequent parenting centres and/or participate in group reading or play activities at the centres.

  • ¶Wang et al (2020) evaluates the persistence of treatment effects 2.5 years after program completion.

  • ASQ, Ages and Stages Questionnaires; BSID, Bayley Scales of Infant Development; C, ECD centre; ECD, early childhood development; FCI, family care indicators; G, group sessions; H, home; N, nutrition; O, one-on-one sessions; P, play area; RCT, randomised controlled trial; S, psychosocial stimulation.