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Tool 5.4: Implementation Resource Guide



In principle, the sector plan should include implementation strategies that are part of the education sector planning’s (ESP) action plan. In reality, reflection on these strategic choices will continue throughout the implementation of the programme. With this in mind, the Implementation Resource Guide has been developed using the Build to Last framework as its organizational backbone as it ties to the continuous reflections taking place during implementation.

Ministerialleadership Financing Public demand Policies and legislation Enabling environment Core functions Planning andbudgeting Quality assurance Family and communityengagement Workforcedevelopment Curriculumimplementation Equitable access to quality ECE services Responsiveness Coordination Equity Efficiency Flexibility Principles Subnational National Local Subsector levels

The Nurturing Care Framework,  2016 Lancet series on early childhood development and the WHO Guidelines for improving early childhood development all emphasize the importance of holistic nurturing care through integrated services. As outlined in the Nurturing Care Framework, to reach their full potential, children need the “five inter-related and indivisible components of nurturing care: good health, adequate nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving, and opportunities for learning.” Intersectoral collaboration is key to ensure a continuum of nurturing care. As described in the Build to Last framework, the focus of pre-primary education programmes includes developing children’s school-readiness skills, such as early literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional skills, and providing opportunities to interact with peers and educators. Participation in such programmes should be viewed as an important part of ensuring optimal early childhood development (ECD) outcomes. Many services and support in and outside the family are needed to safeguard the healthy development of a young child and to maximize the impact of ECE programmes when it comes to children’s readiness for primary school.

It is important to note that the governance of ECD services is situated within wide political, public policy, cultural, and economic contexts. Improving and expanding local governance and its control over budgeting and decision making regarding ECE/ECD services is also often a key factor in successful scale-up of programmes.

Evidence shows that both political commitment at the executive level and a purposeful multi-sectoral governance approach is needed to ensure that young children survive, thrive and experience a healthy and meaningful life course (Clark 2020, Richter 2016, Britto 2014, World Bank 2013).This means:

  • Developing an adequate legal and regulatory framework, holistic strategy or policy framework, to support early chidlhood education and development (World Bank 2013)
  • Investing in not only the core sectors of education, but also in health, nutrition, and social and child protection, as well as improved coordination across these sectors, with the overall goal being shared responsibility across sectors, putting in place mechanisms of governance, financing, accountability, and ensuring that services take a holistic approach to child development (Clark 2020, Richter 2016, Britto 2014)
  • Ensuring that governance entails cabinet-level coordination across ministries, including line ministries and others, such as finance, planning, justice, womens’s affairs or gender, rural development, and social services, in order to build strategic partnerships, manage diverse partners, and develop clear roles and responsibilities for each parter. Such a coordinated action must strive towards establishing joint action plans and budgeting as well as seek more synchronized support from global stakeholders (Clark 2020, Vargas-Baron 2013)

While the purpose of the ECE Accelerator Toolkit is to support the inclusion and strengthening of early childhood education (ECE) using ESP processes as entry points, when it comes to implementation aspects, there may be the need to coordinate with non-ECE sectors and across ministries, depending on how ECE is viewed in your particular context and which particular levels of government and public and private bodies administer and supervise ECE settings. As such, in this guide we also discuss the core functions and factors of the enabling environment as they relate to early child development, which typically focuses on a more holistic approach to early childhood service delivery, as captured in the Nurturing Care Framework.

The current educational landscape is increasingly relying on the power of digital transformation to “re-imagine education”, positing that digital learning should be a part of essential services for every child. This was heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, where schools globally were shut down and governments sought alternate modalities to deliver instructional content remotely in the face of prolonged school closures.  It is important, however to consider how the ECE subsector situates itself in this broader discussion while keeping in mind the particularities of the use of digital learning approaches and educational technology for the youngest learners as well as how such technology can be leveraged to effectively support the ECE workforce and improve the home learning environment.
Please see our resource page on digital learning and educational technology in early childhood education for more information. Considerations around educational technology and digital learning as they relate to specific Core Functions will also be included in the current guide.

As highlighted in the Build to Last framework, while strengthening the enabling environment and supporting the core functions of the subsector, the impact on children is most powerfully made at the level of implementation. Tangible outcomes of an effective pre-primary subsector will be seen both in terms of improvements in equitable access to quality ECE services, which is at the center of the framework, and also in the most significant outcome: enhanced learning and development among children. Evidence of policy impacts is most often considered in terms of better school readiness and early learning outcomes.

For more information, please see these briefs on school readiness:



Core Functions

As outlined in the Build to Last Framework, the five Core Functions each need to be developed through targeted, planned and focused efforts. However, it is important to note that the work across the Core Functions needs to be coordinated.

Reforms or improvements in one area should be considered in conjunction with how other areas are affected. Tangible outcomes of an effective pre-primary subsector will be seen not only in terms of increased and equitable access to quality pre-primary services but also enhanced learning and development among children.


Enabling Environment

The enabling environment focuses on four interrelated factors that are vital for advancing the development of the pre-primary subsector: ministerial leadership, policies and legislation, financing, and public demand. Together, these four factors can provide a strong and supportive foundation for an effective and equitable pre-primary subsector.