Committing to a better future
With early childhood development comprising less than 1% of all education aid, Theirworld boldly asked for governments and organisations to individually aim for 10%. This level of commitment would put the world on course to be able to provide a minimum of two years of pre-primary education for every child on the planet.
In 2019 our campaign offered the world the chance to join our mission. We created a petition which allowed people to declare that they, like Theirworld, believed that the 175m children denied early years education and development deserved a better start in life.
Spread far and wide by our Global Youth Ambassadors, the petition was submitted to donors such as UNICEF and the World Bank, pointing out that for the most disadvantaged children each dollar invested in early childhood care and education could lead to a return as high as $17.
Later in 2019, UNICEF made the breakthrough decision to invest 10% of its education budget in early learning. Announcing the commitment, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore summed up the importance of the move succinctly: “Quality pre-primary education is the foundation of a child’s learning journey: every stage of education that follows relies on its success.”
While Theirworld warmly welcomed this new benchmark, our sights are now set on appealing to fellow donors to match it. While some, such as the Global Partnership for Education, have signalled their intention to devote more funding towards early years education, there remains a lot more that the international community could do. We’re going to continue to act boldly as we campaign for donors around the world to commit to a better future for every child.
We’ve also put our weight behind another bold solution which will potentially unlock billions in early years funding. The International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) aims to fill the persistent education funding gap through partnership between developing countries, international financial institutions and public and private donors.
Theirworld’s Global Youth Ambassadors spearheaded an advocacy campaign to back IFFEd which resulted in 1.5 million signatures being delivered to the United Nations, and countries committing to set up the Facility which aims to raise $10 billion by 2030.
Theirworld’s vision is to end the global education crisis and unleash the potential of the next generation. For that to happen every child needs to be able to count on the best start in life, including a healthy birth and quality and inclusive early childhood education.
That’s why we’re going to keep asking international donors to commit 10% of their education funding towards the early years. We’ll keep fighting for this because it’s what every child deserves, and because without it more than 175 million children will continue to be left behind.