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Early Childhood Development Added to the Global Development Agenda

Early Childhood Development Added to the Global Development Agenda

The United Nations have now included early childhood development (EDC) into its global development agenda, promising to recognize early, equitable and smart investment to promote both the education and health of the world's youngest learners.

Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, released a statement on the UN'S decision to add EDC into the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals.

In doing so, he encouraged media, philanthropists and civil society to band together with the UN and support every child through EDC.

"[W]ith so much at stake, we all can do more to leverage each other’s strengths, expertise and networks. This is a chance to fuel a new movement for our earliest children that benefits us all. Let’s do what the science tells us we must do. The knowledge is irrefutable. The moral argument is strong. The investment case is persuasive," he said.

As we learn more and more about brain development in early years, we learn more about the importance of nurturing growing minds.

As Lake said, early development is much more than teaching letters and numbers. We now know that the conditions of a young child's life is directly related to how his or her brain develops and therefore how that person will grow into society.

"[W]hen we stimulate a child’s mind by playing with her, talking to her, and reading to her, we feed her developing brain. A child lacking in the attention she gets from a caring family is not only less happy now. Her ability to live and learn fully later is affected," Lake said.

For the 50 million children growing up in conflict- never mind the many more being raised in poverty- global support for supporting early development is most important.

"Although ECD comes under the new education goal, it provides a natural link to other goals – helping reduce poverty, improve health and nutrition, promote women and girls’ equality, and reduce violence. We need to build on this momentum."

Read his full statement here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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