Early Childhood Education in Mexico: Expansion, quality improvement, and curricular reform
An accumulation of research across hundreds of studies shows the benefits of quality early childhood care and education for children’s later learning, school success and social development. In recognition of the value of providing early learning opportunities, many nations have expanded early childhood care and education in recent years. Mexico provides an interesting case in which expansion of early childhood care and education has occurred in the past 5 years, as have initiatives to improve quality and revise the national curriculum for pre-schoolers. This paper examines three policy initiatives that occurred in Mexico between 2000 and 2006 - preschool expansion, quality improvement and curricular reform. The preschool expansion included a mandate for all parents in Mexico to send their preschool-aged children (3, 4 and 5 years old) to preschool, with target dates of 2004, 2005 and 2008 for 100 per cent coverage of 5-year-olds, 4-year-olds and 3-year-olds, respectively. The quality improvement initiative was part of a larger programme providing supplemental funds to select preschools and schools in Mexico’s public education system. Finally, the curricular reform instituted a new preschool curriculum to be implemented nationwide for all programmes across the 3- to 5-year-old age range.
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