Integrated Early Childhood Development




Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Early Childhood Education

Community Development and Empowerment


Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education
© UNICEF Cambodia/Bona Khoy

Early childhood education (ECE) has lifetime impacts. Research shows that learning in pre-school, from 3 to 5 years of age, results in the highest return on investment in education. Children with access to ECE are better prepared for further learning and more likely to enter and complete primary school.

Early stimulation of the brain through ECE enhances children’s learning abilities over a lifetime and can help children become more productive adults. For the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, this can mean an opportunity to break away from a cycle of poverty for themselves and their future generations.

Despite the clear benefits of ECE, only about 35 per cent of children aged 3 to 5 years in Cambodia have access to pre-school education, with little difference between boys and girls (Early Childhood Education Department Annual Data 2014/15). While this is a drastic improvement from 10 years ago when only 1 in 10 children were enrolled in pre-schools, more effort is needed to ensure that pre-schools are available for all children, including those with disabilities or from ethnic minority communities. 

What We Do

  • Support the Government to develop plans for decentralized pre-school teacher training based on approved standards for state pre-school teachers and community pre-school training
  • Support the Government to implement inclusive education in pre-schools, including for children with disabilities 
  • Support provincial and district education authorities to implement multilingual education in pre-schools for children from ethnic minority communities



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