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Early Childhood Care and Education

Education for All: Goal 1

Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children

All young children must be nurtured in safe and caring environments that allow them to become healthy, alert and secure and be able to learn. The past decade has provided more evidence that good quality early childhood care and education, both in families and in more structured programmes, have a positive impact on the survival, growth, development and learning potential of children. Such programmes should be comprehensive, focusing on all of the child’s needs and encompassing health, nutrition and hygiene as well as cognitive and psycho-social development.

They should be provided in the child’s mother tongue and help to identify and enrich the care and education of children with special needs. Partnerships between governments, NGOs, communities and families can help ensure the provision of good care and education for children, especially for those most disadvantaged, through activities centered on the child, focused on the family, based within the community and supported by national, multi-sectoral policies and adequate resources.

Governments, through relevant ministries, have the primary responsibility of formulating early childhood care and education policies within the context of national EFA plans, mobilizing political and popular support, and promoting flexible, adaptable programmes for young children that are appropriate to their age and not mere downward extensions of formal school systems. The education of parents and other caregivers in better child care, building on traditional practices, and the systematic use of early childhood indicators, are important elements in achieving this goal.

Know more about Early Chidhood Care and Education links, and projects and activities, or visit the UNESCO Bangkok Early Childhood Care and Education site for more details.

For more information, please contact APPEAL at indicating ECCE as the subject.