UNESCO urges governments to make early childhood education accessible for all

The most disadvantaged children are more likely to be denied the opportunity to have a good start to their education, according to two new studies by UNESCO and its Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.

UNESCO’s report “Right from the start: build inclusive societies through inclusive early childhood education” reminds countries of their commitment, made in the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education, to ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education. They are published ahead of the launch of a new Global Partnership Strategy for Early Childhood in September. 

Coordinated by UNESCO, the partnership will bring together more than 40 organizations active in early childhood care and education (ECCE) to support governments in providing effective ECCE services and in tackling challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNESCO’s report shows that, despite progress, an estimated 2 in 5 children, mostly in low- and lower-middle-income countries are still not enrolled in pre-primary school and currently only 28% of countries globally have made pre-primary education compulsory, ranging from none in the Arab States to 55% in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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