Early moments matter #ForEveryChild
Download the newest UNICEF report on the early childhood development
What’s the most important thing children have? It’s their brains. And yet, we’re not caring for children’s brains the way we care for their bodies, especially in early childhood, when what we do – or fail to do – has an impact on children’s futures and the futures of their economies and their societies.
Early Moments Matter for every child, UNICEF’s new global report on early childhood development, shows that the period from conception to the start of school opens a critical and singular window of opportunity to shape the development of a child’s brain. The rapid brain growth that happens during this period of life is astounding. At this time, brain connections form at an unrepeated speed, giving shape and depth to children’s cognitive, emotional and social development – influencing their capacity to learn, to solve problems and to relate to others. This, in turn, has a significant impact on their adult lives, affecting their ability to earn a living and contribute to their societies . . . even their future happiness. F
or millions of the world’s most disadvantaged children, we are missing this window of opportunity. A 20-year study showed that children from poor households who received high-quality stimulation at a young age earned an average of 25 per cent more as adults than those who did not receive these interventions.1 And yet, governments worldwide spend less than an estimated 2 per cent of their education budgets on early childhood programmes