The importance of early childhood care and education (ECCE) is now widely accepted in international research and development policy. There is considerable evidence that targeted early childhood interventions have the potential to mitigate some of the risks to children's learning and development posed by poverty. But in many countries resources are scarce and are mainly concentrated on achieving the Education For All goal of universal primary education. A major challenge is to find ways to develop high-quality ECCE services which are accessible to poorer children and children in rural areas. This Policy Brief uses findings from Young Lives in Ethiopia to illustrate the early childhood experiences of two age cohorts of children. It concludes that the Ethiopian government's framework for ECCE provision is a positive advance, but highlights some of the obstacles that will need to be overcome in order to implement the policy effectively and in ways that benefit the most disadvantaged children.