Funding equitable and high-quality early childhood education: highlights from The Gambia

Coury, Diane
IIEP policy brief. Funding equitable and high-quality ECE, 1

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Quality pre-primary education is widely recognized as crucial in providing children with the foundation to succeed, but many countries face obstacles in adequately funding scale-up of the pre-primary subsector. A major impediment to the expansion of early childhood education (ECE) is limited data on the cost-effectiveness of existing pre-primary models and on the funding that is available. This prevents proper integration of ECE into education sector plans, hampering adequate resource mobilization (Atinc, Putcha, and van der Gaag, 2014). Where resources are strained, countries also need strategies to increase ECE financing, including from public sources and via alternative financing mechanisms. The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) of The Gambia has therefore collaborated with the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) on two studies on cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and funding for ECE. This policy brief discusses funding, providing analysis of the inefficiencies, inequities, and sustainability issues with current ECE funding patterns. It concludes with practical recommendations for future funding strategies to support the expansion of quality ECE provision in The Gambia.