ColombiaEnhancing early childhood education for refugees

Facts & figures

  • Latin America
  • Education
  • 2014
  • 920 refugee children in Bogota
  • Vivamos mejor

Quality early childhood education lays a foundation for lifelong learning, cognitive development, and social skills, leading to improved academic and socio-economic outcomes in the long run, and helping to break cycles of poverty.


Improve the quality of Early Childhood Education (ECE) and care for Venezuelan refugee children in Soacha by upgrading childcare centre facilities, aiding children’s integration into formal education and healthcare, and providing training and support to caregivers.


  1. Upgrade ECE facilities: Install sanitary facilities and play areas in daycare centres
  2. Aid integration: Assist families to register preschoolers into state schools and obtain ID cards in order to access free public healthcare services
  3. Teacher training: Support caregivers to complete nationally recognized pedagogical training in early childhood education
  4. Parent education: Conduct early-childhood development information sessions with parents of young children
  5. Representation: Liaise with authorities regarding the community’s interests


In 2016, after decades of conflict, FARC and the Colombian government made peace, but not before tens of thousands of lives were upended. In Soacha, a city of more than 1 million people, the majority of residents are Venezuelan refugees living in extreme poverty. More than 50% of children under age five are suffering from nutritional and developmental deficits. Single mothers, needing to work to support their children, have little choice but to leave them in with unqualified operators in neighbourhood daycare centres.

Here, Vivamos Mejor is working closely with childcare centre operators to improve early childhood education for hundreds of children. Their work includes upgrading facilities, ensuring appropriate sanitation and play areas, aiding children's integration into schools and healthcare, and training caregivers.

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