Research shows that pre-primary education is critical for setting strong foundations for a child’s social, emotional and overall well-being. The early years of a child’s life build the basis for lifelong growth and children who fall behind in these early years often never catch up with their peers, leaving these children more vulnerable to underachievement and dropping out of school.

Access to pre-primary education has increased globally but many children are yet to access it

Access to pre-primary education has almost doubled over the past 20 years. Despite this progress, more than 175 million children – or half of the pre-primary aged children globally – do not have access to this important experience. On a global scale, gender disparity is low, but wealth and location have a big influence on access. This means that both, boys and girls have roughly equal access, but children from rural areas, families with low socioeconomic status and less-developed regions experience higher barriers to appropriate education. In sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, access to pre-primary education for children from the poorest families is less than half as compared to children from the wealthiest families.


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