publication
Report: Stepping Up Early Childhood Development

World Bank Group

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • There is growing evidence that investing in early childhood development is key to ensuring school readiness, alleviating poverty.
  • Over 200 million children in developing countries under the age of 5 do not have access to early childhood programs and will not reach their development potential.
  • World Bank releases practical guide for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest in young children. It identifies 25 essential ECD interventions that can be delivered through five integrated packages at different stages in a child’s life.

December 15, 2014 --For many young children, the most important years of schooling come before they can even read.   The young mind is malleable, able to develop linguistic, socio-emotional, physical and cognitive skills with ease.  Early childhood development (ECD) programs that include education, health, nutrition and social protection components have the potential to improve a child’s growth and development, and school readiness, thereby improving their outcomes later in life. 

This document provides a practical guide for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest in young children. It identifies 25 essential ECD interventions that can be delivered through five integrated packages at different stages in a child’s life, spanning the education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and social protection sectors. These five packages of interventions are:

(i) the family support package,
(ii) the pregnancy package,
(iii) the birth package,
(iv) the child health and development package, and
(v) the preschool package


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The document also lays out four simple principles that countries can follow to design and implement successful ECD strategies:

(i) prepare an ECD diagnostic and strategy;
(ii) implement widely through coordination;
(iii) create synergies and cost savings through integrated interventions; and
(iv) monitor, evaluate, and scale up successful interventions.