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Content Section

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)



The latest research in neurosciences shows compelling evidence that early experiences affect brain architecture's development, which provides a strong foundation for all future learning.
The curriculum is central to unlocking the potentials of very young learners and, therefore, to achieving quality education as it articulates a society’s vision of education and provides avenues and spaces for transformation to define learning experiences. Consequently, it is more than ever essential to address early childhood curriculum as the unique window opportunity to create quality and supportive environments that support brain development in this critical period of life of the very early years.  In this regard, an ECCE Curriculum framework should be based on the following:
  1. an evidence-based, developmentally appropriate one that shall address all children from birth to 8 years old, most specifically in light of the unique window opportunity of the first 1,000 days of life;
  2. a continuous lifelong learning process that shall recognize children’s experiences, individual unique needs, strengths, interests, language, and culture within ECCE settings, preschools, and/or family environments;
  3. responsive, supportive, and warm quality interactions reflected in curriculum frameworks and pedagogy in ECCE settings and home-learning environments so that children feel secure to explore and learn;
  4. dynamic partnerships and engagement from different stakeholders, including professionals, families, and local communities surrounding the children; and
  5. supportive whole-child approach with all-encompassing areas from social, emotional, language, cognitive and physical development as being inextricably intertwined throughout the life course and lifelong learning process. 
World Conference on Early Childhood Education (WCECCE) and the role of UNESCO-IBE
The World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (WCECCE)  is a UNESCO intergovernmental meeting, held on 15 and 16 November 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, that aimed to reaffirm the right of every young child to quality care and education from birth and urge Member States’ renewed commitment to and investment in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 4.2 which calls for ensuring that “all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.”
UNESCO-IBE was designated to coordinate and lead the Global Thematic Consultation on the ECCE curriculum that aimed to reaffirm the critical importance of quality education and lifelong learning from the very early years and to accelerate the achievement of SDG 4.2 and other-related SDGs by:

  1. It is stimulating a renewed way of mainstreaming some of the critical and urgent issues in the processes of curriculum transformation undertaken in ECCE

  2. Promoting innovative and evidence-based avenues of work and reflection on issues related to the complex task of improving the relevance and effectiveness of curriculum, teaching, learning, and assessment processes and outcomes; and

  3. We are integrating early childhood education curriculum in an efficient and relevant manner into the overall education system while supporting the quality transition to upper levels by considering the learning continuum.

The conference concluded with the adoption of the Tashkent Declaration on 15 November:

Watch the full conference here:
EN : https://youtu.be/I-VakqygNJo
FR:  https://youtu.be/6eA9_rDlBdc
16 November:
EN: https://youtu.be/9AOVtJtEBls
FR: https://youtu.be/YA5iiV1jcZU

In the build-up to the conference, UNESCO-IBE hosted on 14 November 2022 a Parallel Session on Curriculum & Pedagogy, bringing together Ministers of Education and experts where more robust support for quality education from early childhood was discussed as a pillar stone for transforming education through curriculum and pedagogy.

Building resilient and sustainable ECCE systems project with Dubai Cares

To support the 2030 Agenda on education, UNESCO-IBE and Dubai Cares joined hands in 2017 to ensure quality and holistic ECCE by promoting its operational, multi-sectoral and integrated system in each country. This partnership led to the Project titled “Building resilient and sustainable ECCE systems,” whose overall objective is to build the capacity of Member States to develop, implement and sustain resilient, enduring ECCE systems to give children a fair start in life and provide them the opportunity of holistic development.

This partnership led to the elaboration of the “ECCE Series”, a set of publications that are an elegant collection of tools, policies, and good practices in early education, as well as the result of UNESCO-IBE’s activities in the field. The ECCE Series are working documents and instruments that inspire policymakers and professionals of the Early Childhood community to create better curricula and enablers with the final goal of giving children better opportunities in their early years. For more information, check out the ECCE website.

Selected key references

To learn more about this project, visit our website.  
See more about the thematic events and conferences below.
For questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us at ibe-ecce@unesco.org.