Early childhood development

Faster than we ever thought: the first years of a child’s life set the stage for all future growth.

child holding her hands to her cheek
UNICEF Mongolia

The challenges

Low access to quality early learning for young children is a major issue. One in every 4-5 children do not access early childhood education services. Seven out of 10 children from the poorest families do not go to kindergarten. There is a lack of kindergartens or other alternative services. In addition, the capacity of teachers and parents’ awareness of the benefits of early learning are low. Most importantly, without providing sufficient access to cover all young children – particularly, the most disadvantaged children in quality and inclusive early childhood education, the country is losing opportunities to break cycle of poverty, violence and despair.

UNICEF actions

UNICEF works to:

  • Continue to integrate health, nutrition, child protection, governance, adolescence/gender, WASH, monitoring and evaluation, and environment sectors into Early Childhood Development
  • Increase access to quality and inclusive early learning by demonstrating alternative services such as ger kindergatens and home-based learning
  • Improve teaching quality complemented by work to enhance parents’ knowledge, attitudes and practices.
  • Capacity development at the local level to implement decentralized and integrated ECD services and subsequently influence national standards.

Major results achieved:

  • UNICEF developed a strategy to integrate health, nutrition, education, child protection and environment sectors into Early Childhood Development. As part of it, the health for ECD training modules developed with UNICEF’s support were adopted for national use. The training module on Integrated ECD were developed and disseminated to the decision makers, ECD practitioners and stakeholders in GFAs. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sport (MECSS) and UNICEF Mongolia developed guidelines on implementing environmental standards for pre-schools to benefit at least 300,000 children to access ECD services in a safe and healthy environment.
  • UNICEF joined forces with international and national experts to launch a national digital platform on ECD. Over 65,000 parents accessed the website for information on key child development issues and 120,000 parents and caregivers subscribed to the mobile phone service to receive frequent updates.


These resources represent just a small selection of materials related to the Early Childhood Development Programme of UNICEF Mongolia and its partners. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.

Resource links:

Child friendly kindergarten self assessment (Mongolian)

“Эрт оролцооны цахим хичээл”-ийн танилцуулга