WHY EARLY EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT
Research now shows that a child’s early environment has a vital impact on the way their brains develop. A baby is born with billions of brain cells that represent lifelong potential, but, to develop, these brain cells need to connect with each other. The more stimulating the early environment, the more positive connections are formed in the brain and the better the child thrives in all aspects of his or her life. Children that suffer from hunger and under-nutrition often have poor school attendance and do not learn as well.
Giving children access to quality primary education will put them in a position to move on to secondary and higher education which is vital for economic development. Attending preschool improves children’s successful progression through primary school as their cognitive skills and learning abilities are more developed and they are therefore less likely to be left back and repeat grades in school. Preschool education should be mandatory and accessible in all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean but, to date, it is mandatory only in 10 countries of the region and, even in these cases, access to the service is very limited, usually to the wealthy.