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

million invested by GPE to support ECCE in more than 30 partner countries
partner countries requesting GPE financial support (36 countries/provinces) have included ECCE in their education sector plans since 2013
gross enrollment ratio in pre-primary education in partner countries in 2014 compared to 16.8% in 2002
of GPE grants that include an ECCE component provide financial and technical support to strengthen the role of pre-primary teachers


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.


February 01, 2019
CEO Alice Albright is in Sierra Leone for the launch of a new GPE-supported program.
January 30, 2019
Sierra Leone launches new GPE program, which aims to increase equitable access to education and improve learning outcomes for approximately 1 million girls and boys in public pre-primary and primary...
January 24, 2019
On the first International Day of Education, let’s review the key role that education plays in promoting peace, development and growth, and examine the elements that make up a great education.
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.