A conceptual model for youth-led programs as a promising approach to early childhood care and education

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


The international community has set forth global targets that include calls for universal access to high-quality early childhood care and education (ECCE), as indicated in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. One major impediment to achieving this target is the lack of a skilled workforce. In this paper, we argue the case for leveraging youth as an untapped resource for supplying the workforce the ECCE system needs. Youth comprise a large proportion of the global population, and historically, although youth experience higher unemployment rates than their adult counterparts, youth are important agents of social awareness, social transformation, and community mobilization in multiple global contexts. We provide a conceptual model based on developmental theories and program examples to leverage the discourse of youth-led ECCE programs as a viable option to address workforce gaps while benefiting both young children and youth.

Publication (Name of Journal)

New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development