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Understanding Brazilian Municipalities’ Early Childhood Education Expenditure per Child - Jaqueline Natal
It is known that it is important to include early childhood education (ECE) in the public budget to foster effective and sustainable public policies for early childhood development (ECD). However, it is known as well that financial resources must be spent in an efficient way.
In Brazil, enrollment in ECE is the main public policy to foster ECD. ECE is mandatory for children from 4 to 5 years old. Since the Constitution of 1988, which settled the right of education enrollment for all children (including children from 0 to 6 years old), public investment in ECE has increased. Provision of ECE was assigned to municipalities1 and became part of the municipal budget. However, despite advances in access to and investment in ECE, equity in and the quality of access have become concerns over the years, especially considering the different quality of ECE offered by the 5,568 municipalities.
The current project aims to contribute to the understanding of Brazilian municipalities’ ECE expenditure per child through an investigation of municipalities’ expenses and revenues. The present study used SIOPE data, as SIOPE is the official and main source of information about the education budget. The advantage of using SIOPE data is that it provides detailed information about expenses and revenues, which allows deep investigation of not only the drivers of expenditures but also their sources. The investigation was done by descriptive analysis. Results could be used as evidence for ECE public policy, especially considering the present moment of expansion of daycare centers in Brazil, the new Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valorization of Education Professionals (Fundo de Manutenção e Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica e de Valorização dos Profissionais da Educação [Fundeb]), and the elaboration of a new National Education Plan.
The report presents an overview of ECE in the context of municipal financing, followed by a literature review, then explanation of the methods used, and presentation of the results.