Building Better Brains: New Frontiers in Early Childhood Development

Advances in neuroscience are beginning to drive a revolutionary shift in the way we think about child development, as we learn more about the impact of both positive and negative experiences — and the interplay of experience and genetics — on the developing brain. These developments have significant implications for the future of millions of the world’s most disadvantaged children and their societies — and therefore for our work in both humanitarian and development contexts.

Why early childhood development is the foundation for sustainable development

The new Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 recognize that children are agents of change when they channel their infinite potential to create a better world. The purpose of the agenda is clear: to eradicate poverty and hunger, restore human dignity and equality, protect the planet, manage natural resources, promote economic prosperity, and foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies. ECD is included in Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Counting on Quality: Measuring and Improving Quality in Early Childhood Environments

To protect children’s rights and promote their development, quality in early childhood settings is essential. Across the global early childhood community, there is consensus that quality is both immensely important and unfortunately, not adequately ensured. Reflecting the broad support for attention to quality, ISSA, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, in partnership with the World Bank and the Brookings Institution, joined forces to call attention to the importance of measuring and improving quality in early childhood environments.

Small Children, Big Cities: Impact through design intervention

This is a report on the national conference ‘Small Children, Big Cities: Building Smart Child-Friendly Cities for 21st-century India’, held on 28 and 29 November 2014 in New Delhi, India. During this conference – organised by the Bernard van Leer Foundation with support from the National Institute of Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India – the participants discussed issues concerning urban infrastructure and services, such as housing, water and sanitation, and early childhood services, as well as issues regarding the quality of recreational spaces for children, and the transportation and mobility needs of children in cities.

New article from UNICEF on sustainable Development

Why early childhood development is the foundation for sustainable development “We are living through a watershed year for global development with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, an agenda for 2030 that is the universal development charter for the 21st century. These new SDG Goals recognize that children are agents of change when they[…]