Early childhood care and education, the first of six Education for All (EFA) goals set at the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000 and meant to be achieved by 2015, composes the theme of this new edition of the Global Monitoring Report.
What are the benefits of education programmes for the very young? Why have countries been slow to implement policies integrating early childhood care and health care, nutrition and education? Pre-school is nearly universal in most Western European countries. But participation in pre-school ranges from 62% in Latin America and the Caribbean to 35% in developing countries of East Asia and the Pacific, 32% in South and West Asia and only 16% in the Arab States or even 12% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although enrolments fell sharply in transition countries following the break-up of the Soviet Union , they are now recovering.
Strong Foundations: Early Childhood Care and Education shows that demand for early education and care is expanding rapidly, spurred on by higher numbers of women in the labour market and more single-parent households. While in 1975, on average, one child in 10 was enrolled in pre-primary institutions, by 2004 coverage had increased to about one child in three. The Report also assesses progress towards achieving the other EFA goals set in Dakar, along with the provision of more aid to basic education.
Produced by an independent team, the EFA Global Monitoring Report represents an authoritative reference work that aims to inform, influence and sustain genuine commitment towards education for all.