Investing in the early years is one of the smartest investments a country can make to break the cycle of poverty, address inequality, and boost productivity later in life. Today, millions of young children are not reaching their full potential because of inadequate nutrition, lack of early stimulation and learning, and exposure to stress. Investments in the physical, mental, and emotional development of children -- from before birth until they enter primary school – are critical for the future productivity of individuals and for the economic competitiveness of nations.
Q & A
Why should countries invest in the early years?
Smart investments in the physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development of young children -- from before birth until they transition to primary school – are critical to
What is the impact of early childhood development on adult wages?
Evidence suggests a potential return rate of seven to 16 percent annually from high-quality preschool programs targeting vulnerable groups.
A 20-year study of children in Jamaica by Nobel Laureate James Heckman, Paul
How many children don’t have access to learning?
Only half of all three to six-year-olds have access to pre-primary education. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 20 percent of children can access these critical learning opportunities. Across developing countries, fewer than half of children under five have access to three or more books at home, limiting their development opportunities.
Is ‘stunting’ (i.e., children short for their age) a problem?
What does stunting have to do with a country’s progress?
Today, millions of young children are not reaching their full potential because of inadequate nutrition, lack of early stimulation and learning, and exposure to stress. New World Bank Group analysis suggests that the per capita GDP loss a country incurs for not having eliminated stunting when today’s workers were children is seven percent, on average, while Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia suffer larger losses of about nine percent and 10 percent respectively.
What is the role of mothers and mothers-to-be in this?
Mothers and mothers-to-be should receive nutritious food. Their newborn babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months and receive appropriate feeding and micronutrients thereafter.
How can parents or caretakers make the most out of a child’s early years?
Families should receive quality