Early Childhood Care and Education: Access and Equity
As I explore and read the website from UNESCO, I was very interested in Early Childhood Care and Education section, especially about access and equity.
Early Childhood is defined as the period from the birth to eight years old. In this period, the brain development of the children is so tremendous to lay the foundation for the further learning and development.
UNESCO advocates for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programs that attend to HEALTH, NUTRITION, SECURITY, and LEARNING which provide for children’s holistic development. ECCE is more than a preparatory stage assisting the child’s transition to formal schooling.
UNESCO’s mission is to support early childhood Policy development with the aim to build a solid foundation for a child’s lifelong learning.
“Learning Begins at Birth”. This powerful statement is stated in 1990 Jomtien Declaration for Education for All, and since then this statement inspired the 2000 Dakar Framework for Action to reaffirm the importance of early childhood by including the development of early childhood care and education as the first of its six main goals.
The focus of each participating countries is ‘expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantage children”.
My personal interest about access and equity topic in early childhood care and education is broadening when I found the link to a report with the title ‘Access, Public Investment, and Equity in ECCE. The Nexus in Nine High–Population Countries.’
More than 55% of the world population under age 14 is living in the nine high-population countries, or we can call it the E-9 countries. E is for education, and 9 is for nine countries. The countries are China, India, Egypt, Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and my country Indonesia.
The E-9 countries then launched the E-9 Initiative, aimed at achieving concrete progress in basic education. The Initiative calls for the Education Minister of these nine countries to meet every two years to review their progress.
From this report I found an interesting data, explained that private enrolment in pre-primary education in developed country makes up only about 27% of the total pre-primary education, compared with 61% in the developing countries. It is clearly true that public investment has a clearly positive association with expanded access.
The highest private enrollment in pre-primary education among the E-9 country is Indonesia-my country. The data shown that it is about 99,6% ( it means almost 100% right??) of private enrollment in Indonesia in year 2000.
It is really surprising me because It means almost 99,6% of early childhood education in my country is run by private sector, suggesting that in Indonesia it is individual families who are paying for access to relatively expensive services by the private sector….
So what about the children from low income and poor family in my country, Indonesia?……
Where is the equity that education for all and learning is begins at birth? …..
Who will provide the children from low income and poor family the early care childhood care and education? The government?…..
Well …. If you asked me to answer these questions above…. And how to solve it… I will confess that I don’t know it either… but if someday I find the answer, for sure I will be happy to share it with you again…
But now I have a reason why I should get my Master Degree in Early Childhood Education….
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Early Childhood Care and Education. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-education-systems/early-childhood/
Access and Equity. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-education-systems/early-childhood/access-and-equity/
Access, Public Investment, and Equity in ECCE: The Nexus in Nine High-Population Countries. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001374/137408e.pdf