In 2010, Cambodia adopted the National Policy on ECCD. An ECCD National Committee has been formulated with representatives from 11 cross-cutting ministries as mentioned within the policy. A National Action Plan on Early Childhood Care and Development 2011-2013 has also been developed.
Pre-school education provision is catered towards children 3 to 5 years of age and is organized with a three-step system (L1-L2-L3) though in practice, children may receive only one or two years of provisions. The Ministry of Education-developed National Early Learning and Development Standards for children age-5 is part of the preschool curriculum.
Despite progress in Cambodia, stunting rates remain high and large gaps in under-5 child mortality persist among children in rural areas as compared to those in urban areas.
Lack of human resources, including limited number of staff and qualified preschool teacher.
Limited budget allocation to support early education.
Lack recognition on the importance of ECCD among key stakeholders, including governance agency from national to sub-national levels, community, parent and caregivers.
• Implement the National Policy on ECCD.
• Implement guidelines and standards on ECCD.
• Develop physical infrastructure of ECCD centers.
• Develop programs to raise awareness on early childhood, including the ECCD week program and children’s art exhibition.
• Capacity building of personnel to increase quality.
Ministry of Women and Child Affairs
National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development (Endorsed by Council of Ministers on February 19, 2010)
Sub-Decree on management of community preschool (Approved by Prime Minister on December 29, 2017)
Comprehensive parental education program
Community preschool program
A New Day for Kids community program
Noteworthy aspects: Intervention during sensitive developmental period of a child by recognizing multiple spheres of influence on children. The program is driven by the community it serves and builds on strong relationships with the government.
Achievements: Served 1,310 men, 2,095 women, 1,952 children in two of Cambodia’s most rural and remote provinces (as of 2011).
“It is well known that children who attend pre-school are more likely to continue to mainstream schooling and are less likely to drop out. As part of its commitment to poverty reduction and human capacity development, the Ministry has prioritized the development of the Early Childhood Education sub sector in recent years. The national Early Childhood Care and Development Policy emphasize the expansion of services for the most vulnerable.”