Early childhood care and education

Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is one of the best investments a country can make to prepare children for learning and allow them to thrive later in life.

Worldwide, there are still more than 150 million children ages 3 to 5 who do not have access to pre-primary education, including more than 80% of children in low-income countries.

Children who benefit from quality early childhood education programs are better prepared for primary school and will reach better education outcomes. Quality ECCE also helps reduce repetition and drop-out rates. Positive outcomes are even more pronounced among children from vulnerable groups.

In the past decade, all regions of the world have increased enrollments in pre-primary education but too many children are still left out.

GPE 2020, the partnership's roadmap for 2016-2020, commits all GPE partners to improving the quality and supply of ECCE services, especially for the most vulnerable children. Within the GPE results framework, two indicators highlight the impact GPE seeks to achieve in ECCE.

GPE improves the quality and availability of early education, especially for children most often left behind

Our results

US$250 million invested by GPE to support ECCE in more than 35 partner countries
US$250
million invested by GPE to support ECCE in more than 35 partner countries
2/3 of GPE grants to partner countries in 2018 included support for early childhood care and education
2/3
of GPE grants to partner countries in 2018 included support for early childhood care and education
37% gross enrollment ratio in pre-primary education in partner countries in 2015 compared to 19% in 2002
37%
gross enrollment ratio in pre-primary education in partner countries in 2015 compared to 19% in 2002
90% of GPE grants that include an ECCE component provide financial and technical support to strengthen the role of pre-primary teachers
90%
of GPE grants that include an ECCE component provide financial and technical support to strengthen the role of pre-primary teachers

Sources

GPE in action

GPE has invested US$180M in more than 30 countries to support early childhood care and education #ECCE pic.twitter.com/dWiiw2PZQV

— GPE (@GPforEducation) April 29, 2018

GPE is committed to do more to help developing country partners improve access, quality and learning outcomes in the early years. More specifically, GPE:

Supports ECCE sector planning, analysis, and exchange of good practice: One of the considerations for endorsing an education sector plan by development partners is that the plan includes an ECCE component. GPE has also designed a roadmap to support the mainstreaming of an ECCE component into education sector plans by developing guidelines together with the UNESCO International Institute for Education Planning and companion guidelines on education sector analysis jointly with UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank.

In addition, GPE supports partners to share knowledge and evidence-based practices to overcome ECCE challenges through technical workshops, peer-learning events and conferences.

Highlights

A child holds up plastic bananas during class at a community pre-school in Kang Meas District, Cambodia, 2015. © UNICEF/UN0144155/Pirozzi
April 16, 2019
A new report by UNICEF highlights that at least 175 million of the pre-primary school-age children in the world are not enrolled in preschool. How can we address the challenges that prevent children...
Children at So-Ava primary school near Cotonou, Benin. Credit: GPE /Chantal Rigaud
April 08, 2019
More than US$176 million approved in new grants to Benin, Burundi, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Uzbekistan.
Children at Mkunazini primary school in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud
March 14, 2019
In focus: Girls' education and gender equality A new toolkit developed by VVOB and FAWE on gender-responsive pedagogy for early childhood education is a promising resource to support early education...
In Madagascar, Lalao started a school
March 29, 2017
In 2013, Lalao opened her village's first community school. She welcomed 65 students in an old house with a brick floor and desks made of wooden planks.