World Bank increases support to El Salvador to strengthen integral early childhood development

WASHINGTON, D.C., 22 December 2022 – The World Bank (WB) today approved a non-reimbursable additional financing of US$14.25 million to broaden the scope of the US$250 million development project ”Growing up and learning together: comprehensive early childhood development” [“Crecer y aprender juntos: desarrollo integral de la primera infancia”]. This grant will help to enhance the quality of education by designing a learning assessment framework for the national education system, implementing early childhood literacy activities, and promoting gender equity through improved reading content.

“We are grateful for the support of the World Bank and those who, along the way, have joined us in working for early childhood,” said Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya. “We are transforming the public education system to ensure the early childhood development of Salvadoran children, as we are aware that the first years of life are essential for creating new generations of upright human beings.”

The main project was approved by the WB in March 2020 and focuses on improving, at the national level, Early Childhood Education and Care [Educación y Cuidado de la Primera Infancia ECPI] teaching practices and the physical environments of public centers for the promotion of learning and the care of children; as well as strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology [Ministerio de Educación, Ciencia, y Tecnología, MINEDUCYT] to manage the education sector.

Other activities supported by the project include:

  • Updating the national curriculum for ECPI in public and private centers across the country;
  • Designing structural quality standards and accrediting public ECPI centers;
  • Strengthening the professional capacities of 7,800 teachers and 4,500 managers in public ECPI centers in urban and rural areas;
  • Executing infrastructure works in 110 public ECPI centers; and
  • Conducting corrective maintenance and/or providing equipment to ensure that at least 400 public centers have potable water and sanitation services.

The current grant was made possible through a contribution from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and is a key part of the integrated support provided by the World Bank for the implementation of the National Policy to Support Early Childhood Development 2020-2030 ”Grow Together” [“Crecer Juntos”], spearheaded by the Office of the First Lady of the Republic of El Salvador in coordination with public institutions and other international development partners.

“We are pleased that with these additional funds we were able to incorporate a strong gender equity component in early childhood care and education, which goes hand in hand with the country’s development and poverty reduction,” highlighted Carine Clert, Country Manager for El Salvador and Costa Rica. “Curricula and learning materials will be revised to ensure content that is in line with respect for women’s rights, the prevention of gender-based violence, and the empowerment of girls.

More than 230,000 girls, boys and their families will benefit from this initiative, which is being implemented by the MINEDUCYT.

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