One of their focuses is Education with a sub-theme interest in strengthening early childhood systems.
This week I spent some time exploring this portion of UNESCO's work. There are links for their mission, strategies for achieving their mission, the history, policy briefs, country profiles, and more. There are four areas that UNESCO has placed their focus in working in Early Childhood. They are: Access & Equity, Quality, Investment & Financing, and Coordination & Integration.
Assessiblity to quality early childhood care and education is greatly important to me. But this access in my opinion needs to be for all and not just the poor or not just the advantaged. Because of this, I looked into this area with some depth. There is an article on Vietnam's early childhood policy from 2005. While the report is dated, it did provide some interesting information.
Choi: Finally, although many challenges remain, Vietnam seems to have been successful in developing and implementing concrete pro-poor early childhood policy measures. What would you single out as the success factors?This is where the U.S. differs. We have not be able to develop one unifying governmental leader and there isn't a strong commitment on the government's part for investing in early childhood. We do have funds and some leadership, but it isn't enough.
Tuyet: In Vietnam, the Ministry of Education and Training is responsible for the entire early childhood age group, and is the lead sector for early childhood. This makes it easier to develop and implement policies and monitor progress. We do not have to waste effort on coordinating different initiatives by different sectors. More important, the state has always been committed to investing in early childhood. This has made it possible to cater for the early childhood needs of the poorest. Without state investment, the equity issue cannot be tackled efficiently.