Very critical pre-school year for 40 million kids worldwide: UNICEF

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the crisis in early childhood development worse, with more than 40 million children worldwide missing education in critical pre-school years, said a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report released.

"Families need support from their governments and their employers to weather this storm and safeguard their children's learning and development," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a release accompanying the policy brief, "Childcare in a global crisis: The impact of COVID-19 on work and family life", Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

The 11-page report produced by UNICEF's Office of Research - Innocenti looks at the state of childcare and early childhood education globally and includes an analysis of the impact of widespread COVID-19 closures of vital family services.

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