, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 55–71 | Cite as

The demand for and the provision of early childhood services since 2000: Policies and strategies

  • Sheldon Shaeffer
Open File


Since the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All targets were proclaimed in 2000, countries have made considerable progress in enhancing the well-being of young children. But many young children—including 78% in the Arab states and over 80% in sub-Saharan Africa—still have no access to this education. Obstacles to increasing the demand for early childhood development (ECD) services include structural and political factors, a lack of visibility of these services, poor quality (including their lack of adaptability to clients’ individual needs), high costs to both providers and consumers, and such cultural and contextual constraints as low parental and community awareness of the importance of ECD. Yet, societies can design policies and strategies to increase demand in a variety of ways. These include laws, policies, and action plans—and more financing—meant to expand affordable ECD services; increased parent and community awareness of ECD benefits; promotion of holistic, integrated approaches to early childhood; clear standards of quality for ECD services and for early learning and development; and strategies and programmes to identify and support those groups most in need of quality ECD services.


Early childhood development Early childhood services Education for all Millennium development goals 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BangkokThailand

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