The potential of quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) to transform young lives is increasingly recognised. The challenge now is to realise this potential in practice. This paper asks about the everyday experiences of early education of children in Ethiopia, India and Peru, based on a sample of 2,000 children in each of the three countries. It discusses issues of access and quality in both urban and rural settings, in contexts where government programmes are well established as well as in contexts where the private sector dominates. The paper explores both children's and their parents' views of local pre-schools and how this affects the choices families make around starting school. It also looks at how children make the key transition from pre-school into primary school. Studying experiences and perspectives of the Young Lives children and their parents makes it possible to examine to what extent promises made for early childhood are being translated into practice in terms of accessible, equitable, quality programmes and services.
Young Lives Working Paper 55, part of the series Studies in Early Childhood Transitions, Bernard van Leer Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands, ISBN: 978-90-6195-116-2, 92 pp.