Leave No Child Behind: Invest in the Early Years
Leave No Child Behind: Invest in the Early Years Report Summary by Light for the World, Open Society Foundations, International Disability and Development Consortium, Early Childhood Development Action Network, Global Campaign for Education, and Global Campaign for Education-US.
“Millions of children under the age of five living in low- and middle-income countries are at high risk of not achieving their full potential. Multiple factors influence this risk, including health, nutrition, security and safety, responsive caregiving, early learning opportunities, and access to safe water, sanitation and other basic services. High-quality, equitable and inclusive early childhood development (ECD) can help mitigate this risk and smooth the pathway for the most marginalized to access their rights….An additional 50 cents per person is all it costs for ECD to be incorporated into existing services.”
The report begins by highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals where inclusive early childhood education is at the root. Key findings and policy recommendations reflected on funding are discussed globally and with a specific focus on Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Five policy recommendations are presented for donors: invest more and focus on calculating the funding gaps at country level, develop an agreed method to track Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) spending on ECD, increase investment in early childhood intervention and parenting programs from birth to age three, hardwire inclusion to leave no one behind in development assistance, and for donors to show higher levels of leadership and champion ECD as a priority.
Within partner countries, donors should give more and support domestic financing to scape up ECD services, build the capacity of governments to plan for inclusion, strengthen systems and donor coordination for ECD systems that deliver equity and inclusion, support the development of cadres of ECD workers through long-term investments, and build the capacity of policymakers to plan and implement inclusive ECD.
Three major recommendations are also presented for scaling up ODA in recipient countries: countries develop frameworks for donor investments, overcome the complexities of multi-sectoral collaboration, and strive to show considerably more ambition to develop ECD systems.