Target 4.2 | Situation Analysis of SDG 4 with a Gender Lens
Early childhood is a critical phase of human development. Cognitive, social and emotional skills are primed, paving the way for health, wellbeing and lifelong educational achievements. Target 4.2 reaffirms the importance of laying a strong foundation for learning with good quality, inclusive early childhood care and education that helps ensure a child’s readiness to learn.
Gender discrimination can limit access to learning opportunities. In early childhood, stereotypical gender roles for girls or boys may restrict a child’s opportunities to learn, play or attend school. Children with learning disabilities, or who are in poor mental or physical health may also experience exclusion. Exposing both boys and girls equally to early learning opportunities is still a challenge in many countries in East Asia and the Pacific region. Lack of public funding and uncoordinated services, as limited community engagement, and more importantly limited parental involvement1 may contribute to exclusion from early childhood education and care.