ECCD in Maldives is largely focus on pre-primary education or PPE as Maldivians place importance on starting education at an early age. ECCD was referenced in the Fifth and Sixth National Development Plans, the Education Sector Master Plan (1995-2005) with a clear focus in the Seventh National Development Plan of maintain pre-primary net enrollment at over 85%.

Early learning programs for children between 4 and 6 years of age include center-based preschools, home-based programs, and non-formal community education initiatives (such as play-based learning and parents’ awareness programs). Preschools also co-exist with the traditional ‘edhuruge’ which is a home-based education facilitated by respected community members.

The government is keen to raise the profile of ECCD, such as the First Steps public awareness campaign in partnership with UNICEF, to emphasize the importance of integral care to meet the physical, development, and learning needs of children.


  • Limited access to quality preschool programs for children living in the atolls.
  • Reliance on the traditional ‘edhurage’ (generally with limitations on teacher qualifications, inadequate learning materials, and emphasis on rote learning) as initial formal learning.


  • Raise parental and caregivers’ awareness on ECCD through national campaigns.
  • To increase access to reach the under-served communities, encourage involvement of private institutions and community organizations to develop ECCD centers.
  • Develop curricular materials and guidelines for preschools and childcare centers.
  • Improve ECCD teacher quality through upgrading and continuous offering of teacher training courses.

Ministries in charge

Ministry of Education 

Key Policies

  • National ECCD policy adopted
  • ECCD in the Maldives 1999
  • EFA Plan of Action Maldives 2001

National ECD Network

National Representative

  • TBA

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