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New UNESCO global report highlights critical role of early childhood care and education

New UNESCO global report highlights critical role of early childhood care and education
18 June 2024 16:38

PARIS (WAM)

The first Global Report on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) offers insights, new findings and key recommendations to enhance ECCE worldwide. It highlights global and regional trends, and sheds light on a learning crisis: 37% of the world’s children - over 300 million – will not reach minimum proficiency levels in reading by 2030 unless immediate action is taken.

Co-published by UNESCO and UNICEF, the report provides nine recommendations to advance the agenda of progress towards SDG 4. It addresses how governments and the international community can tackle global learning and wellbeing challenges by promoting an integrated early childhood care and education ecosystem that better supports children and families.

The report advocates strongly for the promotion of ECCE to prepare children for school. This includes developing programmes that enhance literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills, essential for robust educational outcomes. There is an emphasis on making quality early education accessible to vulnerable and disadvantaged children to bridge existing educational gaps. In addition, there is a pressing need to recruit at least six million more educators by 2030 to reach national benchmarks for one year of pre-primary education in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. The annual financial gap to achieve this target is estimated at $21 billion.

Moreover, it recommends governments allocate at least 10% of national education budgets to pre-primary education and establish global initiatives to foster international collaboration in support of children from birth to age eight.
The need for a legally binding international framework to establish the right to ECCE is underscored, aiming to set clear state obligations, promote accountability, and ensure adequate funding for early education sectors. This is considered as critical to preventing the deepening of the global education crisis.

Source: WAM
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