In 2010, Cambodia adopted the National Policy on ECCD. An ECCD National Committee has been formulated with representatives from 11 cross-cutting ministries as mentioned within the policy. A National Action Plan on Early Childhood Care and Development 2011-2013 has also been developed.

Pre-school education provision is catered towards children 3 to 5 years of age and is organized with a three-step system (L1-L2-L3) though in practice, children may receive only one or two years of provisions. The Ministry of Education-developed National Early Learning and Development Standards for children age-5 is part of the preschool curriculum.

Despite progress in Cambodia, stunting rates remain high and large gaps in under-5 child mortality persist among children in rural areas as compared to those in urban areas.


  • Lack of human resources, including limited number of staff and qualified preschool teacher.
  • Limited budget allocation to support early education.
  • Lack recognition on the importance of ECCD among key stakeholders, including governance agency from national to sub-national levels, community, parent and caregivers.


  • Implement the National Policy on ECCD.
  • Implement guidelines and standards on ECCD.
  • Develop physical infrastructure of ECCD centers.
  • Develop programs to raise awareness on early childhood, including the ECCD week program and children’s art exhibition.
  • Capacity building of personnel to increase quality.

Ministries in charge

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs

Key Policies

  • National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development (Endorsed by Council of Ministers on February 19, 2010)
  • Sub-Decree on management of community preschool (Approved by Prime Minister on December 29, 2017)

National ECD Network

National Committee for Early Childhood Care and Development (NC-ECCD) is established as a mechanism for implementing the Law on Education and the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development.

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National Representative

  • Arnec National Representative Cambodia
    Mr. Im Bee
    Plan International

Noteworthy Practices

1. Comprehensive parental education program

2. Community preschool program

3. A New Day for Kids community program

Noteworthy aspects:

  • Intervention during sensitive developmental period of a child by recognizing multiple spheres of influence on children. The program is driven by the community it serves and builds on strong relationships with the government.
  • Achievements: Served 1,310 men, 2,095 women, 1,952 children in two of Cambodia’s most rural and remote provinces (as of 2011).

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East Asia Pacific Early Childhood Development Scales Country briefs - Cambodia

East Asia Pacific Early Childhood Development Scales Country briefs - Cambodia

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