Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 4, Inclusive and quality education for all, sets high standards to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. For nearly 100 years, the Aga Khan Development Network has been working to ensure access to quality education. In light of recent research showing the impact of a child’s earliest days on their life, early child development has become an area of focus for our work. Built on independent research, we work with our partners on trainings that help parents and teachers ensure they are providing the best care for a child, develop quality standards for early childhood education, and connect healthcare systems with schools, ensuring children grow up healthy.


Are ensured access to a good start in life through AKDN’s Early Childhood Development programs.

700Neural Connections

Are developed per second in the first 1,000 days of life and by age five, roughly 90 percent of brain development is complete.


Students reached globally by AKDN education services ranging from early childhood to university degrees.

A Kenyan mother holds her smiling baby.
We collaborate with partners on training that helps parents and teachers ensure they are providing the best care for a child. AKDN

“Our daycare should provide enough space for children to play freely”

Margaret’s story

Building Brighter Futures is a program supporting innovative early child care in the poorest neighborhoods of Nairobi. A partnership funded with a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the program aims to make daycare engaging and meaningful for children at the earliest ages.

Research shows that a child’s earliest years can have a lifelong impact. Providing stimulation like play-based learning for young children from 0 to 3 years old is crucial. Children in low-income families are often at risk of missing that stimulation.

“Our daycare should provide enough space for children to play freely,” says Margaret Gibson, care provider. Her children also get regular visits from a health professional. “When they come to visit, they check on the health, the growth, the development of the child.”

Building Brighter Futures ensures that children get high-quality attention that’s affordable. The program provides teacher training, business development, and more. The project has also made a significant impact nationally by encouraging the Kenyan government to update their early child policy to include an integrated approach and ensure quality standards for all daycare centers.


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sometimes called the Global Goals, are a worldwide movement to break the cycle of poverty and ensure all people can fulfill their potential. For fifty years, the Aga Khan Foundation, as a part of the Aga Khan Development Network, has been working to do that. We are thrilled to share these stories from around the Network that show how we are building brighter futures, in line with our partners dedicated to ending poverty through the SDGs. We work together with communities, partners, and supporters like you to achieve the 17 goals that will improve quality of life for everyone. We invite you to enjoy and share these stories of what we can accomplish together.

Discover more about the Sustainable Development Goals

Discover more about our efforts in education and early child development