Learning families

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) promotes family literacy and learning by compiling and disseminating examples of good practice and research. UIL is also involved in capacity development activities to design a resource pack and pilot family literacy and learning programmes in a number of countries.

Role of family literacy and learning

Family literacy and learning programmes can play a critical role in breaking the intergenerational cycle of education deprivation and disadvantage by helping to prevent school failure and dropout. Intergenerational approaches to literacy and learning build bridges between formal, non-formal and informal learning and utilize synergies between the different education sub-systems and institutions.

UNESCO promotes family literacy and learning as a holistic approach that contributes to the achievement of Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): ‘Ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning for all”. More specifically, family literacy and learning can help meet the following targets of SDG 4:

  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education (SDG 4.1)
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education (SDG 4.2)
  • By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG 4.6)


Family learning resources from our Litbase

Aprendizajes en Familia (Family Literacy Programme), Mexico

Hametin Família, Timor-Leste

My Grandparents' Stories, My Pictures, Nepal

The Manukau Family Literacy Project, New Zealand

Reading Together, Australia

Tell Me a Story, Switzerland