Good quality early childhood development (ECD) is pivotal for improving equitable education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. ECD refers, to organized group care outside the family for children ages 3 to 6 years to develop some skills needed for academic readiness. Over the past two decades, many actors—including the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), education ministries, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and global development partners—have contributed to supporting access to quality ECD services, including pre-primary education, in low- and middle-income countries. ECD programs and systems have been strengthened through institutional leadership, design, and implementation of curriculum, improvements to teaching qualifications and training, and advancements in data collection and research. The ECD sector has experienced widespread challenges in Ethiopia.

The government of Ethiopia has a very good policy and little has been done to implement the policy at all levels. EDA has constructed over 40 model ECD schools within the government schools’ system for replication the same by all actors, particularly the local government school system to scale up in the system. The 270 ECD teachers were trained with the necessary methodologies to adapt the interactive teaching and learning strategies and approaches. Compelling evidence shows that early childhood development programs can boost early learning, especially for marginalized and disadvantaged groups.

However, access rates for disadvantaged and marginalized children in early childhood development programs are far below those for children from lower economic groups. The magnitude of benefits in early childhood development, however, is conditional on quality. The ECD sector should encompass a wide range of program models, curricula, staffing patterns, and qualifications. The fragmentation in this educational space can create inequality through uneven levels of quality provisions and a lack of coherent goals.