Unlock early childhood education for more than a million children

Unlock big change and give an extra 1 million children the best start in life by increasing funding for kindergarten and pre-school education. 90% of a child's brain development starts in the first 5 years of life, yet early childhood education is desperately underfunded

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), one of the global funds for education, is writing its new strategy. It has said that early childhood education will be a priority in the new strategy - but it’s time to turn rhetoric to turn into reality and make a clear financial commitment. 

An increase in funding to 10% of GPE’s budget would help an extra million children into early years education giving them the best start in life.

90% of children’s brain development happens before age five.  All of the best scientific evidence shows attending good quality nurseries, preschools and playgroups boosts children’s development and puts them on a better path for learning. But yet it remains one of the most underfunded parts of education.  

Early years education has fallen off the international agenda, with few too little funding. 

It’s time for governments, donors and international agencies to prioritize quality early childhood education – and we’re  calling for at least 10% of education budgets to be dedicated to the youngest learners.

We want the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to strengthen the commitment to early childhood education in their new 2021-2025 strategy.

GPE has already made great strides and agreed at their last board meeting (December 2019) that early childhood education will be a priority in the new strategy. 

But for the rhetoric to turn into reality, the board needs to be sure its funding backs up its priorities.

Who is the Global Partnership for Education and what do we want them to do?

GPE’s board members are meeting throughout the year to agree its next strategy (2021-2025). It has agreed that funding 1 year of quality early childhood education (ECE) should be a priority in the strategy - this is a great start. But now they need to go further and commit to the practical steps that will turn that commitment into reality - particularly ensuring that at least 10% of education budgets are dedicated to ECE.

Ahead of their last meeting in June 2020, 1000 Theirworld supporters from 60 countries took action to ask the board to ensure their new strategy prioritises increased funding for ECE. That campaigning is working, with 12 of the 20 GPE board members indicating their support.

But there is still a lot of work to do. The next board meeting will take place on the 2nd to 4th September and we need board members to clearly commit that the new strategy will encourage GPE partner countries to work towards allocating at least 10% of their domestic education budgets towards ECE.

About the Board and their positions.

In March 2020, Theirworld’s Global Youth Ambassadors wrote to every member of the GPE board to ask for their support for this campaign. We then followed up with a new letter in August 2020. You can see how board members responded and whether they will be supporting the 10% call to action.

Developing Partner Countries
6 Decision Makers
3 3 0
Board member

Elyas Abdi Jillaow

Director, Project Coordination and Delivery, Ministry of Education, Kenya
Board member

Elia Béatrice Assoumacou

Interim Minister of National, Technical and Vocational Education, Madagascar
Board member

Awut Deng Acuil

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, South Sudan
Board member


Secretary, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Bangladesh
Board member

Rangina Hamidi

Minister of Education, Afghanistan
Board member

Luis Fernandez

Director General de Educación Primaria del Ministerio de Educación, Nicaragua
Donor partners
6 Decision Makers
3 1 2
Board member

Donatienne Hissard

Deputy Director for Sustainable Development, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Board member

Anna Rosendahle

Head of Unit for Global Social Development Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Board member

Alicia Herbert

Head, Youth and Education Department (YED), Department for International Development, United Kingdom
Board member

Camilla Helgø Fossberg

Policy Director, Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Board member

Marjeta Jager

Deputy Director General at the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission
Board member

Julie Cram

Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Civil society organizations
3 Decision Makers
2 1 0
Board member

Kira Boe

Education Policy Lead, Oxfam
Board member

Maria Khan

Asia Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE)
Board member

Gifty Anyogbe Apanbil

Deputy Secretary General at Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT)
Private sector/foundations
2 Decision Makers
2 0 0
Board member

Randa Grob-Zakhary

CEO, Insights for Education
Board member

David Boutcher

Board member of the Global Business Coalition for Education, and Partner in Reed Smith LLP
Multilateral agencies
3 Decisions Makers
3 0 0
Board member

Stefania Giannini

Assistant Director General, Education, UNESCO
Board member

Robert Jenkins

Chief, Global Education, UNICEF
Board member

Luis Benveniste

Regional Director, Human Development, Latin America and the Caribbean, The World Bank

Board member and your positions isn't right? email us: [email protected]

Take Action

As board members prepare for the next meeting, will you add your voice to that of our youth ambassadors and remind them that early childhood education matters and must be prioritised? 

Write to your board member and ask them to make sure early years education funding has clear financial backing in their next strategy.

Write to your GPE Board Member

Write to your GPE Board Member

Write to your board member and ask them to make sure early years education funding has clear financial backing in their next strategy.
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