It’s Not Too Late to Act on Early Learning

Understanding and recovering from the impact of pre-primary education closures during COVID-19

A child drawing with items from a recreational kit for children affected by COVID-19 in Jombang, Indonesia


This paper presents a new estimate that pre-primary school closures in 2020 may cost today’s young children US$1.6 trillion in lost earnings over their lifetimes. Children in middle-income countries will be most greatly affected. However, most low- and middle- income countries are leaving pre-primary education out of their responses to COVID-19. This paper also draws lessons from evaluations of accelerated, bridging and remedial programmes on how introducing or expanding these transition programmes in the early years can mitigate the long-term impact on learning from pre-primary school closures.

Cover of the document
UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti / Inter-American Development Bank
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