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Early Childhood

Governance and financing of Early Childhood Development services

A key conclusion of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report of 2007 was that, with a few notable exceptions, children from poorer and rural households and those socially excluded have significantly less access to early childhood services than those from richer and urban households. The report also concluded that these disadvantaged children, who are most likely to benefit from an early education, are the least likely to be enrolled and continue into primary education.

Governments have a clear role in undoing these disparities and they also hold a number of essential means to do so (e.g. legal authority, financial resources, human resources, etc.). Throughout the world governments have taken different paths in using these means to fulfil their commitment to parents and children. However the governance and financing of early childhood education and care is a complicated area of policy that crosses several specialties and sectors, and its experience holds many lessons to be learned.

UNICEF IRC with financial support from the Bernard Van Leer Foundation is undertaking a cross-national study aimed at increasing the understanding of how the effective implementation of a national policy framework on early childhood development services can contribute to reaching all young children, particularly the most disadvantaged, and help ensure the successful transition into primary education.

The study, 'Governance and Financing of Early Childhood Development Services', will be conducted with technical support by of a team of international experts, and will shortly be underway. The project is expected to be completed by July 2010. This web page will be updated on a regular basis with relevant information on the progress of the study and its outputs.

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