A 7-year-old boy participates in a math lesson at his community school in the Sarlahi district of Nepal. Photo credit: Victoria Zegler / Save the Children, May 2018.

A 7-year-old boy participates in a math lesson at his community school in the Sarlahi district of Nepal.


Education helps lift children out of poverty and spurs economic opportunity around the world. We’ve made great progress in recent years toward ensuring that all children are in school and learning. An international emphasis on education has led to 91% of children globally now enrolled in primary school. But we have more work to do: 263 million children and youth are still not in school and millions more are failing to acquire even basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. Save the Children is on the front lines of advocacy to ensure that vulnerable populations such as girls and refugees are enrolled in school and receiving a high-quality education.

Save the Children’s education policy advocacy supports robust basic education funding for every child and we integrate education efforts into our humanitarian response work. We press governments to provide support for children’s education in times of crisis and conflict, as record numbers of refugees and displaced people are torn from their homes and schools.

Save the Children also advocates for additional funding through multilateral mechanisms such as the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait – increasing coordination across stakeholders while also strengthening country ownership.

Consistent with our policy research and advocacy, our education advocacy is particularly focused on ensuring that girls receive high-quality educations. Girls are often disproportionately prevented from receiving basic education, and our education work recognizes this by focusing on girls as among the most vulnerable. U.S. legislation such as the Keeping Girls in School Act acknowledges and addresses the unique barriers faced by girls, and seeks to strengthen families and communities by strengthening girls.

Early Childhood Education

Investing in early childhood education includes evidence-based home visiting, high-quality pre-K and child care programs for children from birth until age 5. It is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty.

Studies show that children who receive a high-quality early education are more likely to graduate from high school and, on average, earn a higher income.

Our advocacy efforts include:

Increased funding for early childhood education programs such as Head Start/Early Head Start, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and Pre-School Development Grant (PDG).

Additional supports for families to afford child care by increasing the value and reimbursement of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, the Dependent Care Assistance Program, and employer-provider child care benefits.

See our collection of thought-leadership reports and publications on education here


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