29th February 2020
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The stage from birth to five years is the most important in a child’s development. That is when over 90 per cent of brain development takes place.  With adequate nutrition, good health care, protection and play, a child will grow up to live a healthy and productive life.

According to a new report, pre-primary education, also known as early childhood education, pre-school, kindergarten, and nursery, is now widely recognised as critical for children to reach their full potential. It stimulates cognitive and emotional development and has an impact on school completion and learning outcomes in later childhood. Evidence also shows that pre-primary education has lifelong benefits for health and earnings. Children who receive pre-primary education do consistently better in mathematics, science and reading, even after accounting for socio-economic factors.

According to research, investing just $1 in early childhood care and education can bring returns as high as $17 for the most disadvantaged children. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it has been estimated that every dollar spent towards tripling pre-primary education enrolment would yield a $33 return on investment.

To give all children a fair start in life, governments need to ensure pre-primary education is prioritised and funded in their national education plan, and international donors must ensure no child is left behind by supporting efforts to improve childhood education.

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