Preschool education

What we do

Early Childhood Development (ECD) is an integral part of the joint UNICEF and government programmes on education, health, protection and communication. Access to quality ECD services, including preschool, can provide crucial support during the early years of a child’s development, while also facilitating their readiness for school. Ensuring that young children are developmentally-ready for learning is an important part of UNICEF’s educational priorities. Regional plans to increase access to quality preschool education programs are being implemented in six regions, including in Bukhara, Fergana, Djizzakh, Kashkadarya, Samarkand and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. Regional trainers have trained 2,159 preschool educators on child-centred teaching methods, while model kindergartens have enrolled an additional 2,841 children, and are now mentoring 106 neighbouring kindergartens.

Achievements to date

  • UNICEF has contributed to the development, validation and publishing of an improved version of Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS), by providing technical support. ELDS and child-centred teaching methods, contained within a new curriculum, have been incorporated into the curriculum of the national and regional in-service, pre-school teacher retraining system. ELDS has been officially endorsed by the Ministry of Higher and Specialised Secondary Education for Pedagogical Colleges.

The way forward

  • The analysis of the benefits and results of alternative pre-primary programmes, such as half-day groups, which may be a more cost-effective way to deliver Early Childhood Education;
  • The conducting of research by UNICEF’s Social Policy section, in order to determine the level of parental interest in pre-primary programs, the resources required for such programs, and the mechanisms required for their implementation;
  • The implementation of Communication for Development (C4D) programmes focusing on community-based participatory research in the six targeted regions, in order to gain a better understanding of why parents do not send children to preschools, and to train community advisors in gathering data;
  • The use of the data resulting from the C4D programmes in order to prepare strong advocacy messages for parents and communities, and to support Early Childhood Development.

Related publications

Key partners