The Ningshan Model

Group: Ningshan County Government - Shaanxi, China
Timeframe: 2018 - Present
Located in the southern interior foothills of the Qinling Mountains, Ningshan County is a key county for concentrated poverty alleviation and development in the western region of China. In early August 2018, ten early childhood development activity centers opened in Ningshan County, offering services to over 600 children ages 0 to 3 years and their parents.

Research Design

Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)

Study subjects: 6-36 month-old babies and their caregivers; 1400 children and their primary caregivers

Outcome measures: Hemoglobin concentrations (measure of anemia); baseline and follow-up surveys; caregiver-reported child health measures

Project duration: 15 months


Enrolled families visit the parenting center weekly to participate in one-on-one parenting training sessions as well as group play and reading activities with their babies. Home visits are available to those that live outside of a certain radius from the center.

In periodic intervals each family that utilizes the centers or in-home services receives a phone call from center staff delivering regular feedback on their child’s growth and development.

Anticipated Impact

By directly engaging with their children more, we expect that children’s developmental outcomes will improve.

The knowledge caregivers gain from participating in the parenting intervention can also be applied to improving direct engagement with other children and grandchildren living in the sample households.