Financing ECEC - An International Perspective

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  • As its name indicates, The EFA global Monitoring Report (GMR) mandate is to monitor year by year progress made by countries towards the six EFA goal set in Dakar in 2000. In doing so, the Report holds both governments and the international community accountable of their commitments made in Dakar to provide education to all; To date, 8 editions of the report have been published, the latest edition (published at the beginning of this year) focusing on the issue of marginalization in education; The Report is prepared by an independent team of about 20 persons and is housed at UNESCO headquarters. It is funded by a pool of eleven donors.
  • The early childhood care and education (ECCE as we call it) is the first of the six EFA goals. It calls upon governments to expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. This goal is then about care and education. Some of the care aspects of ECCE, for example child mortality and malnutrition are also part of the MDG agenda (reduction of both under 5 mortality rate and child malnutrition) The education aspect of ECCE is mainly about pre-primary education.
  • Strong and growing evidence in both developed and developing countries finds that adequate nutrition, good health and a language-rich home environment during the early years are vital for later success in education and in life. Indeed, good-quality ECCE provision can equip children with cognitive, behavioural and social skills that improve access, retention and learning outcomes in primary education. Yet millions of children around the world lack these advantages, suffering from poor health and nutrition, low access to pre-school programmes, which is clearly and indication that many countries are still not paying sufficient attention to ECCE despite its benefits particularly for the poorest children.
  • Pre-primary education is expanding around the world, with participation rates improving in all regions. Yet, pre-school programmes remain particularly under-developed in sub-Saharan African and among Arab States, with gross enrolment ratios lower than 20% in each case. In several countries in this regions (Burundi, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Djibouti, Niger) the ratios is only 3% or below. This is also the case in Bhutan in South Asia. Disparities in participation in pre-primary education are observed not only between regions and countries, but within countries themselves, with children from poor households and rural and remote areas less likely to be enrolled. Costs are with no doubt a key factor impeding wider participation of children in ECCE programmes. For example, children from the poorest households in a country like Zambia have twelwe times less likely to participate in ECCE programmes than those from the richest families, and the factor rises to 25 or in Egypt and Uganda. This has certainly to do with the fact that in many countries, in particular low-income ones, private institutions are proeminent, with private enrolment accounting for all total enrolment in several of them (in Bhutan where the pre-primary GER was 1% in 2008, all pre-primary enrolment was private). This raises important equity issues making pre-primary education and ECCE programmes more generally a luxury for millions of children particularly those who benefit most of it.
  • ECCE programmes are neglected in many countries public education agenda despite the now well-known research evidence stressing their benefits. In general, countries give relatively low priority to pre-primary education in their public spending. Globally, this level of education accounts for less than 4.4% total public expenditure on education in half of countries with data in 2008. The median values ranged from 0.2% in sub-Saharan Africa to nearly 11% in Central and Eastern Europe. In several low income-countries, including Bhutan, Comoros and Uganda where all pre-primary enrolment was private, the share of total public spending on pre-primary education was nil, with ECCE regarded as a family responsibility. In half of OECD countries, the share was higher than 8%, ranging from the value nil in Turkey to about 14% in Hungary and Spain.
  • The neglect of pre-primary education in public education spending is even striking when compared to primary education. Globally, while the median share of public spending on pre-primary was 4.4% in 2008, it rised to nearly 34% for primary education. In other words, in half of countries with data expenditure on pre-primary programmes was equivqlent to less than 13% of that of primary education. This median percentage varied substantially from only 0.3% in sub-Saharan Africa to nearly 29% in the North America and the Western Europe region. Looking at OECD countries, the priority given to pre-primary education in public education spending compared to primary education also varies quite substantially, with the expenditure on pre-primary education equivalent to less than 3% in Austria and Ireland (0.2%) to that of primary education, but nearly 60% or more in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary (71%) and Slovakia. While one can understand the higher priority given to primary education in many countries particularly those where universal primary enrolment is not achieved yet, the neglect of pre-primary education is equivalent to a short-sighted policy vision given the key role ECCE programmes can play in improving school retention and learning outcomes in primary education.
  • In general, the high participation level in pre-primary education is an indication of countries’ commitment to ECCE programmes. Indeed, the higher public spending on pre-primary education the greater also participation at this level. This positive relationship though not very strong is also observed among OECD countries. For example, countries such as Belgium, France, Mexico and Spain reported both high pre-primary GER and level of spending on this type of programmes. By contrast, Turkey devoted no public spending on pre-primary education in 2006 and also had the lowest pre-school participation level (18%). Investing more on ECCE programmes is certainly important to increase access, but how money is allocated and used is equally important. For example, France reported a much higher public spending per pre-primary pupil (US$4,551 at PPP in constant 2007) than Mexico (US$1,570) while both countries had more or less the same GER (110% and 114%, respectively. Similarly, Mexico performs much more than Chile which was spending more on each pre-primary pupil (US$1,906) while reporting a GER (56%) less than half that of the former. Obviously, countries that are still behing in terms of pre-school participation need to increase public investment on ECCE programmes to expand access. However given the striking sub-national disparties observed in many of them, this investment should be geared towards narrowing disparities, targeting marginalized groups and providing services that are accessible and of good quality to the poor.
  • So the question remains how to increase funds to expand ECCE: Increasing access to ECCE, as mentioned by Nicole has two positive outcomes: Develops synergies between other levels of education and child well-being – long-term as well (e.g., having a mother with secondary or higher education cuts the risk of dying before age 5 by at least half). Improve equity and increase opportunities for all Investing in ECCE is also highest return of social and economic investments (economist Heckman, consortium of economists and finance ministers in InterAmerican Development Bbank (LAC) PUBLIC and PRIVATE funds can mix in public provision. But when provision follows funding streams, inequity can increase: As Nicole mentioned, the private sector can take a large part of providing ECCE services, but they can also support government efforts to expand access and coordinate national ECCE provision. E.g. Egypt. And they can make a big difference: In Zanzibar (Tanzania), religious ECCE providers alter the gross enrolment ratio in ECCE from 9% to 87%, when included. In Indonesia, ECCE programmes are community-financed, with large disparities throughout the country. The government invests less than 1% of its education budget. Yet, the extent to which the state regulates private providers varies and has important implications for access, quality and equity. Private providers operating outside the public system often are free to determine eligibility requirements, quality standards and fees. Risk of a two-track system developing, with children from more advantaged families attending more expensive and higher quality private programmes and less fortunate families resorting to low-cost, lower quality public alternatives.
  • Basic education accounts for ECE, primary education and basic skills for youth and adults. Data for disbursements in 2008. bilateral and multilateral aid is included. Does not include general budget support, or aid to unspecified levels of education. ECE provided under other aspects of education. The consistency of reporting among nations is a concern. But conclusion remains valid: there are not many ECE specific projects that are funded, especially compared to primary education. NO INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE DATA FOR MONITORING PRIVATE FUNDS: variation large Indonesia: public funding represents no more than 5% of the total, usually as subsidies to privately operated urban child care centres – rest funded by households. Cuba: funding of ECCE services 100% the government (although households can pay for extra services)
  • Earmarking funds: in Colombia, employer tax for national ecce fund; in Jamaica, tax on gaming to support programmes in designated regions. CCTs: provide money to poor families contingent upon certain verifiable actions, generally minimum investments in children’s human capital such as school attendance or basic preventative health care. They explicitly focusing on children, delivering transfers to women, and changing social accountability relationships between beneficiaries, service providers and governments. Intersectoral councils are developing at regional and local levels, with increased support from central ministries. Has expanded the ECCE budget.
  • QUALITY 22% of governments report the percentage of education in their total budget in 2008 to UNESCO Institute of Statistics (Montreal) Separating funding sources (national v. international) not possible, but would help in advancing national commitment to ECCE policy development HOLISTIC Although we have more financing data on the education aspect of ECCE, it is not without its own data challenges. Public v. private provision, no reporting of the latter in a consistent manner. In many of the poorer countries, the services are largely provided by NGOs and localised in target areas. Would need to include programmes not in the education sector and non-education areas of spending. For example, more complex to report ECCE expenditures related to other ministries. No capacity similar to the social expenditure database among non-OECD countries. VERY YOUNG: there are fewer services for the very young at an international level. 92% of countries in N.America/W. Europe have official programmes addressing health, nutrition, care an education of the under 3s), compared to a low of 35% in East Asia and the Pacific and the Arab States and 45% in sub-Saharan Africa. Monitoring spending at this age is also very complex, given that many programmes do not serve all children. Variety of the organization of ECCE programmes makes international comparisons tricky… Conclusion: improving data collection on the financing aspects of ECCE would help highlight insufficiencies and inequities in the provision. These are necessary conditions for the planning and implementation of ECCE, whether targeted or universal coverage is expected.
  • Financing ECEC - An International Perspective

    1. 1. Financing ECCE: an international perspective Nicole Bella Anaïs Loizillon (UNESCO) OECD, 21 June 2010 EFA Global Monitoring Report
    2. 2. EFA global Monitoring Report: Who we are? <ul><li>Monitoring progress towards the six EFA goal agreed to by 164 countries in 2000 in Dakar, Senegal </li></ul><ul><li>Hold all parts (governments and the international community) accountable of their commitments </li></ul><ul><li>Eight editions published to date, with the 2010 Report being on the issue of marginalization in education </li></ul><ul><li>Prepared by an independent team housed at UNESCO </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by eleven donors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Six EFA goals ranging from ECCE, universal primary education, learning needs of youth and adults, adult literacy, gender parity and equality to quality of education, with 2015 as a deadline for achievement) </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Early childhood care and education <ul><li>Early childhood care and education (ECCE): first of the EFA goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education (ECCE), especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Care dimension: child well-being and health (also part of the MDG agenda </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education dimension: pre-primary education </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Education for all begins with ECCE <ul><li>ECCE can create the foundations for a life of expanded opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It can be a springboard for success in primary school by favouring school readiness; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can offset social, economic and language-based disadvantage, especially for vulnerable and disadvantaged children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yet, ECCE programmes remain neglected in many countries around the world, suffering from public under-investment </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Participation in pre-primary is improving
    6. 6. Pre-primary education: not sufficiently funded <ul><li>Pre-primary education is not given a priority in public spending on education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gobally, the median share of pre-primary education on total public spending on education was only 4.4% in 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In several low-income countries (i.e. Bhutan, Comoros, Uganda, etc.), the share was nil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In half of OECD countries, the share was higher than 8%, ranging from the value nil in Turkey to about 14% in Hungary and Spain </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Pre-primary education: not sufficiently funded
    8. 8. More investment in pre-primary increases participation
    9. 9. Diversity of funding sources: implications for equity and expansion <ul><li>Funding sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public (international, national, state, local) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private (NGOs, religious groups, employers, communities, households) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. International donors neglecting early childhood
    11. 11. Belfield (2006) – short case studies
    12. 12. Innovative financing mechanisms <ul><li>Earmarking funds: tax to support ECCE development (Colombia, Jamaica) </li></ul><ul><li>Political commitment: national funds for ECCE (Brazil, Colombia) </li></ul><ul><li>Intersectoral councils: expand ECCE budgets (Brazil, Ghana, Kenya) </li></ul><ul><li>Public/private partnerships: block grants for seed funds (Indonesia) </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing equity: More favourable per learner funding for poorer schools (South Africa) </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting poor households: Conditional cash transfers (Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Data challenges <ul><li>Quality of education financing data </li></ul><ul><li>ECCE as part of a holistic environment </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking for the very young (0 to age 3) </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of programmes and organisation </li></ul>
    14. 14. www.efareport.unesco.org EFA Global Monitoring Report 2 0 1

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