Tackling Gender Inequality from the Early Years: Strategies for building a gender-transformative pre-primary education system

Tackling Gender Inequality from the Early Years: Strategies for building a gender-transformative pre-primary education system

AUTHOR(S)
Dita Nugroho; Mayra Delgado; Bella Baghdasaryan; Stefania Vindrola; Divya Lata; Ghazala Mehmood Syed

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
Access to early childhood education has increased over the last two decades, with global enrolment rates showing gender parity in access among boys and girls. Despite this gender parity in access, the pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle gender inequities and address harmful gender stereotypes while they are being absorbed by the youngest learners. As such, this research explores the ways in which pre-primary education can become more gender-transformative at a system level and presents 11 key strategies to support this goal. The strategies are organized around five interconnected action areas: planning and budgeting; curriculum; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance. These strategies can help governments and policymakers to proactively incorporate gender-responsiveness into the design and implementation of their pre-primary education policy and programming, following a system-wide perspective.
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Addressing gender inequalities through early years education

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Addressing gender inequalities through early years education

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Access to pre-primary education has increased significantly in the past two decades and, as of today, boys and girls are participating equally. However, despite this gender parity in access, the pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle gender inequalities and address harmful gender stereotypes and norms. In particular, children begin to gain insight into certain cultural gender stereotypes as early as the ages of two and three. There is, therefore, a need to proactively incorporate gender-responsive and gender-transformative strategies into the design and implementation of pre-primary education systems to address gender inequalities. 
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Supporting gender-transformative parenting through pre-primary education systems

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Supporting gender-transformative parenting through pre-primary education systems

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Children begin learning about gender stereotypes as early as age two. The pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle and address harmful gender stereotypes while they are being absorbed by the youngest learners. All components of the pre-primary system have a role to play in breaking down these stereotypes. This includes parents, who are the primary agents of gender socialization for their children. As young children are in the process of forming their own gender identity, their primary caregivers can reinforce their behaviors and act as role models on how to behave and interact with others. This brief highlights key strategies and considerations to ensure family and community members are active agents of change for gender-transformative education and development.
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Tools for gender-transformative policy and programming

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Tools for gender-transformative policy and programming

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Gender-transformative pre-primary education requires a coherent system that integrates gender considerations across all its core components for a quality service delivery. This brief presents a set of tools to support policymakers and/or practitioners to progress towards gender-transformative pre-primary education policy and programming, organized by the five core components of quality pre-primary primary education systems: planning and budgeting; curriculum; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance. The tools provide key gender considerations to strengthen each core component and advocate for gender-responsive and gender-transformative policies and practices. 
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: A System-wide approach to tackling inequalities from the early years

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: A System-wide approach to tackling inequalities from the early years

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Mainstreaming gender within pre-primary education is a priority in tackling gender-related inequalities from the early years. Such mainstreaming requires the commitment of a variety of stakeholders within the education system and beyond, including different units within education ministries, pre-service and in-service teacher training providers, teacher unions, other ministries, academia and civil society organizations. This brief presents key advocacy points and enabling conditions to support education ministries to engage these partners in the delivery of gender-transformative pre-primary education. Advocacy points are aligned with the five components of quality systems: planning and budgeting; curriculum development and implementation; workforce development; family and community engagement; and quality assurance.  
Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Investing in pre-primary education workforce development for gender equality

Gender-Transformative Pre-Primary Education: Investing in pre-primary education workforce development for gender equality

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs
Children begin learning about gender stereotypes as early as age two. The pre-primary education system does not always deliver on its potential to tackle and address harmful gender stereotypes while they are being absorbed by the youngest learners. All components of the pre-primary system have a role to play in breaking down these stereotypes. This includes the teaching workforce, who play a crucial role in determining how the education system contributes to gender equality and whose actions can influence children’s learning experiences and their personal gendered views and behaviour. This brief highlights key strategies and considerations to ensure the pre-primary workforce can be prepared to stop gender stereotypes from being perpetuated, and ways they can create a learning environment that is gender-transformative.
Quality of Childcare and Pre-Primary Education: How do we measure it?

Quality of Childcare and Pre-Primary Education: How do we measure it?

AUTHOR(S)
Zlata Bruckauf; Nóirín Hayes

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Early childhood development is a driving force for sustainable development due to its multiplier effects not only on children but also on the community and society at large. Access to ECEC alone is insufficient for achieving positive child outcomes – it must also be of high quality. This Brief aims to summarize the key points of ongoing debate on this issue, and outline some of the challenges faced by high-income countries. A step towards a more holistic monitoring of ECEC would be to develop a coherent national strategy that recognizes diversity while addressing disparities; to respond to the needs of both child and family through strong partnerships with parents and ECE practitioners; and to apply measurement tools that capture a child’s engagement rather than test readiness.

How Inequalities Develop through Childhood: Life course evidence from the Young Lives cohort study

How Inequalities Develop through Childhood: Life course evidence from the Young Lives cohort study

AUTHOR(S)
Paul Dornan; Martin Woodhead

Published: 2015 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper contributes longitudinal research evidence on these issues, notably: the impact of structural inequalities on children’s development within households and communities; the ways access to health, education and other key services may reduce or amplify inequalities; and especially evidence on the ways that children’s developmental trajectories diverge from early in life, through to early adulthood.
Is there Catch-Up Growth? Evidence from Three Continents

Is there Catch-Up Growth? Evidence from Three Continents

AUTHOR(S)
Sudhanshu Handa; Amber Peterman

Published: 2015 Innocenti Working Papers
The ability to correct childhood malnutrition, or for children to display ‘catch-up growth’, has important population-level implications for economic and social development. According to most recent estimates, over one third of all children under the age of five in developing countries suffer from some form of nutritional deficiency, with approximately 27% classified as underweight, 31% exhibiting stunting and 10% exhibiting wasting. We contribute to the catch-up growth debate by presenting results from three widely varying population based samples using identical statistical techniques, controlling for endogeneity of lagged health in several different ways, and measuring height in z-scores. Our estimates for these three different populations indicate that while previous health does not track future health perfectly, there is still significant persistence in health status for young children. These estimates do not account for household health-related behaviour.
Understanding Governance of Early Childhood Development and Education Systems and Services in Low-Income Countries

Understanding Governance of Early Childhood Development and Education Systems and Services in Low-Income Countries

AUTHOR(S)
Pia Rebello Britto; Hirokazu Yoshikawa; Jan Van Ravens; Liliana A. Ponguta; Soojin S. Oh; Roland Dimaya; Richard C. Seder

Published: 2013 Innocenti Working Papers
Over the past decade, early childhood development and education (ECDE) has received increasing attention. This has led to an influx of scientific, macroeconomic, and rights-based evidence, supporting the importance of equitably implementing quality ECDE programmes and services. Despite the increase in evidence, young children in the developing world still bear the greatest burden of poverty, disease, violence, and risk factors. Recent research suggests that equitable access to quality early childhood services (ECS) can reduce the impact of risk factors and improve outcomes.
Child Drowning: Evidence for a newly recognized cause of child mortality in low and middle income countries in Asia

Child Drowning: Evidence for a newly recognized cause of child mortality in low and middle income countries in Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Michael (et al.) Linnan

Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Drowning is a leading cause of death among children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, but current data greatly underestimate mortality due to drowning. This is due to the way drowning data is collected, classified and reported as well as the difficulty in correcting and adjusting the data. The sum of all the biases and uncertainties has masked the fact that drowning is a leading cause of child death in LMICs in Asia. Cost-effective, affordable and sustainable interventions appropriate for LMICs are available to address this newly recognized and significant killer of children. Large numbers of these deaths could be prevented annually if these drowning interventions were included in current country programmes. When implemented at national scale and as an integral part of country programmes, the prevention of these drowning deaths, which mostly occur in early childhood, would result in a rapid decrease in early childhood mortality.
Good Governance of Early Childhood Development Programmes in Developing Countries: The need for a comprehensive monitoring system

Good Governance of Early Childhood Development Programmes in Developing Countries: The need for a comprehensive monitoring system

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Kools; Virginia E. Vitiello

Published: 2010 Innocenti Discussion Papers
There is need for a holistic, comprehensive ECD monitoring system that covers the multiple facets (i.e. education, health, social protection and the social and economical context in which the child is born) of public and private ECD interventions in a country. Such a system is essential for ensuring that all children can reap the benefits of ECD. It serves as a means of support and oversight for monitoring the performance and planning of ECD policies and programmes in developing countries. The paper highlights the importance of comprehensive ECD monitoring for making evidence-based decisions, and discusses practical issues to take into consideration when developing such a system. One of the first steps is deciding what to monitor through the selection of a limited number of valid and measurable indicators that are aligned to policy and programme goals. In this respect the capacity of the government system should be thoroughly assessed, including 1) the identification and evaluation of existing administrative and other data sources; 2) a training needs analysis of the administrators who will operate the monitoring system to allow for strengthening their skills and prepare them for their future duties; and 3) consideration of the long-term costs of operating a monitoring system in relation to the (projected) available funds, in order to ensure the sustainability of the system.
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