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Financial Reform to Strengthen Early Years Learning

Farah Nabilah, 2023

“It takes a village to raise a child”

A well-known proverb that, given its social and economic context, makes a great deal of sense for the development of the nation Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is a vital component of a child’s development and is essential to their future success. The Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argued that ECCE investment yields the highest rate of return in human capital development (Heckman & Mosso, 2014).

He provided statistical justification of the relationship between government investment and a reduction in social welfare costs, a lower crime rate, a higher income, better health, and an increase in tax revenue, which over time saves taxpayers’ money. While Malaysia has made significant strides in ECCE provision in the past, policy reforms are still necessary to address the issues and obstacles that impede the ECCE system’s ability to achieve its’ objectives.

This essay will discuss 1) the reasons why ECCE should be the focus of a policy reform; 2) the key issue of ECCE: inclusive and equitable quality of education; 3) the key structural barrier to policy reform; and 4) preliminary suggestions for a policy reform, with a focus on public-private partnerships.

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