by Emma Samman, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Nicola Jones et al.
Overseas Development Institute, March 2016
There are 671 million children under five in the world today. Given labour force participation rates that exceed 60% globally, a large number of these children need some sort of non-parental care during the day. Early childhood care and education programming is not managing to match this need. At most, half of three- to five-year-old children in developing countries participate in some form of early childhood education, typically for a few hours daily. We know very little about what is happening to the rest, but all the evidence points to a crisis of care. That crisis is heavily concentrated among the poorest children with the most restricted access to early childhood support. There is an urgent need to solve the global care crisis to improve the lives of both women and children and to grow economies.