Integrated early childhood development (ECD) as a framework for research, policy and service development

Brief introduction to the topic Integrated early childhood development (ECD) is a comprehensive starting point for research, policy and service development. As the HEART Early Childhood Development Topic Guide (Woodhead et. al., 2014) points out, ECD spans the period from conception through to eight years and covers a range of sectors including early learning and… Read more




Early childhood development (ECD) and children with disabilities

Introduction to the topic This reading pack briefly highlights some of the research and programme work that are showing positive benefits for young children with disabilities in low-resource settings. The international evidence that high quality early childhood development (ECD) programmes benefit all children’s development, life experiences, and life chances is overwhelming. The evidence comes from… Read more




Early childhood development (ECD) in emergencies

Introduction to the topic The international evidence that high quality early childhood development (ECD) programmes benefit all children’s development, life experiences, and life chances is overwhelming. The evidence comes from studies of all kinds, including well-known large quantitative longitudinal studies (e.g. High/Scope Perry studies in the USA and the work of Heckman at http://heckmanequation.org/) to… Read more




Starting early to build stronger and more peaceful societies

Millions of children around the world are living through conflict, violence and insecurity. With emergencies and protracted crises on the rise, UNICEF is committed to safeguarding children’s development and contributing to resilient and sustainable societies. Recognising the interconnectedness of social development and peace articulated in the new Sustainable Development Goals, UNICEF is working with partners… Read more




The timing and quality of early experiences combine to shape brain architecture

Brain architecture provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. It develops through the interaction of a child’s genes and early experiences, relationships, and environment. This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains key scientific advances in understanding why the early years matter for brain development, as well… Read more




Young children develop in an environment of relationships

  An “environment of relationships” is crucial for the development of a child’s brain architecture, which lays the foundation for later outcomes such as academic performance, mental health, and interpersonal skills. However, there is a greater need for policies that consider the importance of adult-child relationships for child well-being. This working paper from the National Scientific… Read more




A systematic policy review of early childhood development and peace building in fourteen conflict-affected and post-conflict countries

This report presents the findings of a systematic review of early childhood development (ECD) and peacebuilding policies across 14conflict-affected and post-conflict countries. The study sought to map existing national-level policies covering a range of crosssectors: ECD, peacebuilding and social welfare policies. Overall, the findings show ‘policy gaps’ across all 14 countries in the recognition of the importance… Read more




Noteworthy practices: early childhood development in emergencies

Young children are extremely vulnerable in emergency situations. In a field which typically focuses on the three pillars of humanitarian assistance—food, water, and health—individuals working in emergencies often see a need to do more. They want to do more for very young children and their families, and they seek real-life examples of successful programming that… Read more




Integrating ECD activities into nutrition programmes in emergencies: why, what and how

This document targets local and international staff running nutrition programmes in emergencies, and local, regional and national authorities and donors involved in such programmes. The note explains why nutrition programmes need to include early childhood development (ECD) activities to maximise the child’s development. It provides practical suggestions as to what simple steps are necessary to create integrated programmes… Read more




Early childhood care and development in emergencies: a programme guide

Disaster situations can cause immediate and lasting damage to a child’s development. Some children experience such severe stress that their growth and brain development are irreversibly impaired – leading to low attainment at school and poor long-term health. Early childhood care and development (ECCD) in emergencies builds up children’s resilience and provides a context for development… Read more




Early childhood development in emergencies: integrated programme guide

In both regular and emergency settings, quality early childhood foundations can help ensure a smooth transition to primary school, a better chance of completing basic education, and a route out of poverty and disadvantage. Through positive influences on learning achievement, skills acquisition, and health outcomes, early childhood development (ECD) interventions provide a pathway to the… Read more




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