• Fonny Dameaty Hutagalung Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Chew Fong Peng Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Donnie Adams Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Nina Fitriana Universitas Mercu Buana Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta 55752, Indonesia.


Background and Purpose: A child’s cognitive, physical, and socioeconomic development must be stimulated as early as possible to ensure it is on the right path. However, only a few studies have been conducted to investigate the difference in cognitive abilities between public and private pre-schoolers in Malaysia.


Methodology: A total of 121 students aged five to six were selected from public and private pre-schools in Kuala Lumpur using a purposive sampling method. The children's general cognitive abilities were assessed using the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities (MSCA).


Findings: The findings showed that the general cognitive abilities of public and private pre-school children are at a moderate level. The results also indicated no statistically significant effect of the type of pre-school, parents’ level of education, and parents’ income level on children’s cognitive ability.


Contributions: This research provides insights into the children’s cognitive ability in some selected public and private preschools in Malaysia. The outcome is essential in determining the general cognitive abilities of the children. Possible future works are suggested to explore the topic from different perspectives in order to improve children’s cognitive ability.


Keywords: Cognitive abilities, pre-school children, type of pre-school, parents’ education, parents’ income.


Cite as: Hutagalung, F. D., Chew, F. P., Adams, D., & Fitriana, N. (2022). A comparative study of children’s cognitive ability in Malaysian public and private pre-schools.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(2), 377-398. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol7iss2pp377-398


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How to Cite
Hutagalung, F. D., Fong Peng, C., Adams, D., & Fitriana, N. (2022). A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CHILDREN’S COGNITIVE ABILITY IN MALAYSIAN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PRE-SCHOOLS. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 7(2), 377-398. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol7iss2pp377-398