children playing

New UNESCO global report highlights critical role of early childhood care and education

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Publication Date: 
17 Jun 2024


The first global report on early childhood care and education offers insights, new findings and key recommendations to enhance ECCE worldwide. It highlights global and regional trends, and sheds light on a learning crisis: 37% of the world’s children - over 300 million – will not reach minimum proficiency levels in reading by 2030 unless immediate action is taken.


Key challenges

The report advocates for the promotion of ECCE to prepare children for school. This includes developing programmes that enhance literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills, essential for robust educational outcomes. 

Three key action areas need particular attention: 

Access: We are in a learning crisis. Without immediate action, 37% of the world’s children –over 300 million – won’t reach minimum reading proficiency by 2030. To reach SDG 4.2 dedicated to early childhood learning, we need to enroll 1.4 million children every year until 2030.

Teacher shortages and qualifications: Many children, especially the most disadvantaged, are taught by underqualified teachers. In low-income countries, only 57% of pre-primary teachers have the necessary training. We need 6 million more pre-primary educators and teachers by 2030.

Funding: ECCE is severely underfunded. We need an additional [$21] twenty-one billion US Dollars annually to meet national goals for pre-primary education through to 2030.