Early Childhood Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

In recent years, increasing priority has been placed on the development of national intersectoral early childhood development (ECD) policies in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reviews the role of national ECD policies to promote young children’s access to key early childhood services. We discuss the proliferation of national ECD policies in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last… Read more

Investing in Young Children : An Early Childhood Development Guide for Policy Dialogue and Project Preparation

Investing in young children is the responsible thing to do. All children deserve a chance to grow into healthy, educated, and competent people, no matter where and when they were born. While parents bear most of the responsibility for raising their children, especially in the early years of life, governments also have an important role… Read more

Breastfeeding and child cognitive development: new evidence from a large, randomized trial

Context  The evidence that breastfeeding improves cognitive development is based almost entirely on observational studies and is thus prone to confounding by subtle behavioral differences in the breastfeeding mother’s behavior or her interaction with the infant. Objective  To assess whether prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding improves children’s cognitive ability at age 6.5 years. Design  Cluster-randomized trial,… Read more

Early Child Development : A Powerful Equalizer: Final Report

This document synthesizes knowledge about opportunities to improve the state of early child development (ECD) on a global scale. In keeping with international policy standards, we define early childhood as the period from prenatal development to eight years of age. What children experience during the early years sets a critical foundation for their entire lifecourse…. Read more

Effect of breast-feeding patterns on human birth intervals

An adequate inter-birth interval is of great importance because it enables a mother to recover her physical and emotional strength between pregnancies and confers upon the child advantages of better health and development (Morley, 1977). Breast feeding is the naturally evolved method of ensuring an adequate inter-birth interval but the contraceptive effect of breast feeding… Read more

Developmental Potential in the First 5 Years for Children in Developing Countries

Many children younger than 5 years in developing countries are exposed to multiple risks, including poverty, malnutrition, poor health, and unstimulating home environments, which detrimentally affect their cognitive, motor, and social-emotional development. There are few national statistics on the development of young children in developing countries. We therefore identified two factors with available worldwide data—the… Read more

Effects of integrated child development and nutrition interventions on child development and nutritional statu

We conducted a systematic review of studies that examined the effect of interventions combining a child development component with a nutrition one; in some cases the nutrition interventions also included health-promotion components. Only papers with both child development and nutrition outcomes and rated as moderate-to-good quality were included. Eleven efficacy and two nonrandomized trials, and… Read more

Convention on the Rights of the Child

This general comment arises out of the Committee’s experiences of reviewing States parties’ reports. In many cases, very little information has been offered about early childhood, with comments limited mainly to child mortality, birth registration and health care. The Committee felt the need for a discussion on the broader implications of the Convention on the… Read more

Socioeconomic gradients in child development in very young children: Evidence from India, Indonesia, Peru, and Senegal

Gradients across socio-economic position exist for many measures of children’s health and development in higher-income countries. These associations may not be consistent, however, among the millions of children living in lower- and middle-income countries. Our objective was to examine child development and growth in young children across socio-economic position in four developing countries. We used… Read more

Interventions for promoting the initiation of breastfeeding (Review)

Despite the widely documented health advantages of breastfeeding over formula feeding, initiation rates remain relatively low in many high-income countries, particularly among women in lower income groups. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions which aim to encourage women to breastfeed in terms of changes in the number of women… Read more

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