Early childhood development

In recognition of the fact that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, starting from conception, are key for her long-term outcomes, governments across Young Lives countries have tried to develop policies that will ensure access to nutrition, water, sanitation, healthcare and early learning programmes for marginalised groups during this period. However, as in the rest of the world, disadvantaged children in Young Lives countries are less likely to benefit from early childhood programmes than their better-off peers. Minority groups are especially at risk, because of language and cultural barriers.

Agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals signals that early childhood development (ECD) will be a priority focus for the twenty-first century. Explicit mention is made in Target 4.2 which states that by 2030 countries should: ‘ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education’. But SDG commitments to ECD are much broader than this education-focused target. Young Lives believe that strengthening early childhood development is key to achieving at least seven of the Sustainable Development Goals goals, on poverty, hunger, health (including child mortality), education, gender, water and sanitation, and inequality.

Latest research: Early childhood development

Does household access to improved water and sanitation in infancy and childhood predict better vocabulary test performance ?
Journal Article
Comparison of the Effects of Government and Private Preschool Education on the Developmental Outcomes of Children: Evidence From Young Lives India
Working paper
The Association Between Unintended Births and Poor Child Development in India: Evidence from a Longitudinal Study
Journal Article
Early Investment in Preschool and Completion of Secondary Education in Ethiopia: Lessons From Young Lives
Working paper
Parental Background and Child Human Capital Development Throughout Childhood and Adolescence: Evidence From Four Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Scaling-up Early Learning in Ethiopia: Exploring the Potential of O-Class
Working paper
Inequality, preschool education and cognitive development in Ethiopia: Implication for public investment in pre-primary education
Journal Article
Socio-economic Status and Early Childhood Cognitive Skills
Journal Article

Research Countries