Ensuring that all children receive high quality early learning experiences is a crucial step towards ending Learning Poverty. Policymakers, development partners, parents, and other stakeholders need information on children’s learning outcomes, and countries need to generate data in a way that can foster improvements in programs and policies. This need existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is even more urgent now that millions of children are out of school, with the youngest children in particular risk of being left out of remote learning efforts.
There have been various global initiatives to promote measurement and monitoring of children’s development in the preschool years (here defined as ages 4 to 6). However, there is no single international monitoring program at the preschool level in which the same items are administered to representative populations of preschool-aged children around the world at a regular frequency (as there are for learning outcomes in upper primary and secondary school grades). Many tools have been developed to measure early childhood outcomes, but it has been difficult to get an accurate and comprehensive view of how child development varies across the globe because the tools used do not always capture the same developmental domains in the same way. For instance, while tools measuring early childhood outcomes in the preschool years tend to target similar developmental domains, the items used often differ from tool to tool, which limits the capacity to compare data and results across countries and different measurement initiatives.
The Flexible Learning Strategies for Out of School Children programme is a UNESCO initiative with the aim of supporting inclusive and quality education for every child in the region. Our goal is to reach the remaining and most vulnerable 5% of children with no access to education in the region and support quality improvements in learning for every child.
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