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Brazilian's investment in early childhood education is a highlight in Latin America

Percentage of Brazilian GDP allocated to the sector has grown to surpass that of several other countries in the region
published: Sep 12, 2018 10:38 AM last modified: Sep 12, 2018 12:11 PM

Brazil is ahead of Latin American countries with regard to investments in early childhood education for children under five. The information comes from the Education at a Glance 2018 report, published on Tuesday (11 September) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Although it is below the average of other OECD countries (0.8% of GDP), the Brazilian percentage is higher than that of Latin American nations such as Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. "There is an increasing awareness of the key role that ECEC [Early Childhood Education and Care] plays for children’s development, learning and well-being," the report says.

The OECD also highlights that "Research suggests that the development of areas of great importance, such as emotional control, social skills, language and numeracy, peaks in the first three years of a child's life."

Access to preschool

Brazil is also ahead of Latin America countries in terms of inclusion. The same study found that 22% of children up to 3 years of age are in school in Brazil, while more up-to-date data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that this percentage actually reached 30.4%.

The Brazilian index in this item is higher than in several countries in the region, such as Argentina (5%), Chile (20%), Costa Rica (2%) and Mexico (2%). In pre-school, according to the report, access in Brazil is even greater, reaching 90% at 4 years of age, 97% at 5 years of age and 100% at 6 years of age.

According to its National Education Plan (PNE), regulated by law, Brazil has to increase attendance for children up to 3 years of age to 50% by 2024. The estimate is that this will require 2.4 million students to be included in the educational system.