Worldwide Access to Early Childhood Programs: Where Do We Go From Here?

Early childhood care and education (ECEC) programs have become more and more available to children across the world during the past several decades. However, enrollment rates remain low in developing countries, where children are particularly disadvantaged. ECEC is one of six Education for All goals set at the World Education Forum in 2000 for expanding and improving educational opportunities worldwide, and this can be viewed as a strategy for reducing poverty in the developing world. Country-by-country enrollment rates for pre-primary education are available on an annual basis from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and show recent increases particularly in transition and developing countries. Much less is known about the types of programs that children attend. In order to better understand educational opportunities available to young children, it is important to consider additional questions. For example, are programs universally available or targeted? What quality provisions are being implemented? This slideshow was presented by NIEER Assistant Research Professor Jason T. Hustedt and Co-Director W. Steven Barnett at the 2009 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

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