Economic inequalities and other forms of social deprivation in early childhood are closely linked to lower income and social disadvantage in adulthood. However, studies have shown that investing in early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy that can mitigate childhood disadvantage, producing higher rates of economic return for the individual person, community, and country. Early childhood education leads to cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and moral developmental gains that carry over into later stages of development.
Early childhood education is on the reform agenda in many countries, including those in Africa. The aim of early childhood education is to provide developmental support for children in their formative years so that they can acquire the skills necessary for future learning and success in school. This success is expected to benefit the social and economic development of society at large.