Preschool Education in Latin America

Over the past fifteen years, Latin America has devoted increasing attention to preschool programs. This area of education has grown faster than any other, both in the region as a whole and in most of the individual countries there. Change has touched not only formal and non-formal preschool programs but also child care and development activities with an educational component. Since this part of the education sector is still in its infancy, however, a review of the present “state of the practice” seems in order to provide a sound basis for future policy and action. To that end, this discussion examines (1) the scientific and social arguments in support of expanding early education and development activities, (2) the advantages and disadvantages of existing programs, (3) some of the main problems that will have to be resolved as the field grows, and (4) some suggestions for action.

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