Early childhood education plays a crucial role in the development of children and has significant positive socio-economic effects on the whole of society. Empirical studies devoted to this subject corroborate this evidence, including studies on investment in early childhood education conducted by James Hackman, and a recent study on the correlation between attending early childhood education and scores achieved in PISA tests, conducted in 34 OECD countries.
In the country, there are not enough preschool facilities, particularly in impoverished rural areas, where they are most needed. Furthermore, a significant percent of parents still believe that it is better for children to be at home than in preschool institutions, not comprehending the real benefit of early childhood education for the development and the achievements of their children.
Too often, as well, the quality and the implementation of programmes for early learning is insufficient and teaching staff could benefit from capacity development programmes based on the latest research and achievements in science regarding brain development.
Early childhood education does not just support academic learning, rather it builds other skills in children that are crucial for learning and brain development. Development of “non-cognitive skill” - such as intellectual curiosity, perseverance, social skills and emotional stability – during childhood and adolescent years are just as important for children’s success in lifelong learning, social integration, personal development and latter employability.
For UNICEF, the fact that too many children are missing out on this chance for a better life is simply unacceptable!