Children are considered to be especially vulnerable to energy poverty; however, there has been little empirical research on how energy poverty affects early childhood development in energy-poor countries. To overcome this, here we measure energy poverty and early child development using a multidimensional approach based on data from national multiple indicator cluster surveys (MICS). Using this data, we utilize mediation techniques to empirically investigate the impact of energy poverty on early childhood development using two mediators, namely living standards and child health. The results suggest that energy poverty hampers childhood development through living standards and child health. Findings also confirm that early childhood development has a statistically significant relationship with the living standard of a household, child health, gender, age, home environment, quality of the care of the child, the mother's education level, education level of the household head and the region of residence. Finally, we propose viable policy strategies to prevent energy poverty to ensure proper child development for future generations to achieve relevant SDGs in the investigated nations.
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