Background: Evidence suggests that children from low-income families begin the preschool stage with less academic and non-academic skills development compared to higher-income families. There are several successful experiences of early stimulation of cognitive and social-emotional skills; however, there is scarce evidence of the effectiveness of a video game that incorporates the stimulation of these skills simultaneously. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a video game in stimulating cognitive, emotional, and social competence skills in developing academic skills in socioeconomically disadvantaged preschool children. Methods: A cluster-randomized controlled trial design will be used. A tablet-based video game that stimulates cognitive and socio-emotional skills to improve the development of academic skills is compared with a tablet-based game where students draw and paint with no explicit stimulation of cognitive and socio-emotional skills. Eighteen schools and 750 Chilean preschool students will be recruited. The effectiveness of the intervention will be assessed using a direct evaluation of children on literacy learning and pre-calculation skills at baseline, immediately after stimulation, and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months post-intervention. The mediating effect of working memory, inhibitory control, emotion recognition, and prosocial behaviours will be assessed on the effectiveness of the intervention. Discussion: The proposed study will be the first to test the effectiveness of a tablet-based video game stimulating cognitive and social-emotional skills to improve academic skills in socioeconomically disadvantaged preschool children in Chile, controlling for gender, age (in months), mental health, and baseline conditions of stimulated skills. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05224700. Registered on February 2022.
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