Today is World Innovation and Creativity Day, two qualities that sit at the heart of the Education Outcomes Fund (EOF). We were born out of a desire to support innovative educators through creative partnerships, using outcomes-driven funding to provide children around the world with the education they deserve. As we grow, one area we’re particularly excited to be expanding into is the provision of higher-quality early childhood education (ECE)—and we know the best ECE programs have creativity and innovation at their heart.
The benefits of high-quality ECE programs are enormous. Access to comprehensive ECE not only increases children’s learning outcomes from primary school all the way to further education—but it also has a positive knock-on effect on parents and caregivers, who are able to participate more actively in the labor force. Breaking down the numbers, studies have shown that pre-primary education provides the highest return on investment of all education levels—with returns of up to $9 for every $1 invested.
So today, as we celebrate World Innovation and Creativity Day, EOF is proud to highlight our partnership with the LEGO Foundation, an organization that recognizes the importance of nurturing learning and creativity through play in children from a young age. Their work spans the globe, from South Africa to India, Mexico to Uganda. Partnering with other leading development organizations, they have designed programs that holistically tackle the early learning crisis, working with governments to improve policy and curricula, and humanitarian organizations—such as International Rescue Committee—to ensure even children in the harshest environments are given the opportunity to learn through play.
In partnership with LEGO Foundation, EOF will be working to define the ‘playbook’ for how results-based financing can support the rapid and equitable expansion of high equality ECE programs that are affordable for both households and governments. This will increase the opportunities for children around the world to learn through play and reach their full creative potential.
Despite its importance, there remains a pervasive lack of funding for early childhood education and huge disparities in the quality of education available not just around the world—but even within countries. And, as the African proverb goes, ‘It takes a village’, so alongside our work with the LEGO Foundation, EOF is also developing several other early childhood initiatives that harness the power of results-based finance tools to deliver positive outcomes for young children across the globe, and we’re looking forward to publishing more of our thinking around ECE later this year.
Solving the learning crisis is going to take both innovation and creativity, and we’re excited to be working with partners like the LEGO Foundation, who have those qualities in their organizational DNA.