childhood education
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However, new data from UNESCO shows that one in four 5-year-olds – or 35 of the 137 million 5-year-olds worldwide – have never received any form of pre-school education. and despite research proving the benefits of early childhood care and education (ECCE), only half of countries guarantee free preschool education

The period from birth to age eight is characterized by remarkable brain development in children and represents a crucial window of opportunity for education. When children are healthy and safe, when they learn well in the early years, they are better equipped to develop to their full potential as adults and participate effectively in economic, social and civic life. ECCE is seen as a means to promote equity and social justice, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

A body of research and evidence supports this claim, propelling early childhood learning to the forefront of global debates and government priorities. The first argument comes from neurosciences which have demonstrated the impact of the environment on the nature of the cerebral architecture – the first experiences of the child can provide him with a solid or on the contrary fragile base, influencing his learning, his development and his subsequent behaviors. The second is drawn from the field of economics, which has documented the better return on investment of preschool programs compared to programs for adolescents and adults. The third comes from the sciences of education,

How has access to ECCE changed?

Overall, globally, there is significant progress in achieving inclusive and quality ECCE. The participation rate in pre-school education rose worldwide from 46% in 2010 to 61% in 2020; participation in organized learning programs one year before the official primary school entry age has also increased to 75% by 2020. However, in low- and middle-income countries in the lower bracket, less than two children out of three follow an organized education one year before the official age of entry into primary school. The average participation gap between the richest and poorest 20% of families is 48%. Besides, the percentage of children living in a positive and stimulating learning environment at home remains significantly low, with only 64% of children living in this type of environment. Significant regional disparities remain the greatest challenges. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 40% of children live in a positive and stimulating learning environment at home, while 90% of children in Europe and North America enjoy such an environment at home.

What is the situation of ECCE teachers and staff?

It is time for societies and governments to implement relevant policies to redress and transform their ECCE systems. ECCE is seen by many countries as an essential part of the solution to a myriad of challenges, including social inclusion and cohesion, economic

Chronic underfunding : On average, 6.6% of education budgets, at national and subnational levels, were allocated to preschool education. Low-income countries invest on average 2% of education budgets in preschool, which is far below the 10% target by 2030 suggested by UNICEF. In terms of international aid, preschool education remains the least well-funded sector.

What are the solutions ?

While it is essential to recognize both the complexity of ECCE policies and the challenges of putting them into practice, political will and ownership are essential to transforming ECCE. The review in this report shows progress in some countries in strengthening the capacity of ECCE systems to respond to demands. A series of policies and measures were put in place during the reporting period to strengthen the capacity of ECCE systems to better respond to contextual demands. Some examples of these policies show the emphasis on:

Improve quality and relevance : ECCE curriculum frameworks should embrace different aspects of early childhood learning and help children acquire the knowledge, skills and dispositions essential for a smooth transition to education formal. This requires rethinking the scope, sequencing, balance and relevance of curricula. Sequencing should ensure a ‘learning through play’ approach in the first place and that children acquire early foundational skills in literacy, numeracy and social-emotional domains, allowing them to be ready to enter without difficulty in primary education.

Making ECCE educators and staff a force for transformation : For ECCE transformation to take place, ECCE educators must be adequately supported and empowered to play their role.

Improving governance and stakeholder participation : Countries have adopted different modes of governance, which are generally either integrated type or split type.

Use funding to guide ECCE development : It is important to strengthen domestic public funding to provide affordable ECCE. Since ECCE services fall under different ministries, there needs to be a clear delineation of funding and funding rules across sectors and ministries. Innovative financing can include the allocation of resources from economic activities and other sources.

However, new data from UNESCO shows that one in four 5-year-olds – or 35 of the 137 million 5-year-olds worldwide – have never received any form of pre-school education. and despite research proving the benefits of early childhood care and education (ECCE), only half of countries guarantee free preschool education.

The period from birth to age eight is characterized by remarkable brain development in children and represents a crucial window of opportunity for education. When children are healthy and safe, when they learn well in the early years, they are better equipped to develop to their full potential as adults and participate effectively in economic, social and civic life. ECCE is seen as a means to promote equity and social justice, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

A body of research and evidence supports this claim, propelling early childhood learning to the forefront of global debates and government priorities. The first argument comes from neurosciences which have demonstrated the impact of the environment on the nature of the cerebral architecture – the first experiences of the child can provide him with a solid or on the contrary fragile base, influencing his learning, his development and his subsequent behaviors. The second is drawn from the field of economics, which has documented the better return on investment of preschool programs compared to programs for adolescents and adults. The third comes from the sciences of education,

How has access to ECCE changed?

Overall, globally, there is significant progress in achieving inclusive and quality ECCE. The participation rate in pre-school education rose worldwide from 46% in 2010 to 61% in 2020; participation in organized learning programs one year before the official primary school entry age has also increased to 75% by 2020. However, in low- and middle-income countries in the lower bracket, less than two children out of three follow an organized education one year before the official age of entry into primary school. The average participation gap between the richest and poorest 20% of families is 48%. Besides, the percentage of children living in a positive and stimulating learning environment at home remains significantly low, with only 64% of children living in this type of environment. Significant regional disparities remain the greatest challenges. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 40% of children live in a positive and stimulating learning environment at home, while 90% of children in Europe and North America enjoy such an environment at home.

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