Investing in the early years: a roadmap for sustainable futures

18 September 2017

WHAT: High-level event to discuss how investing early, even before birth, in young children’s development – through nutrition, health, education, sanitation, security, responsive caregiving and early learning – is one of the smartest interventions governments can make to address inequality, break the cycle of poverty, and improve outcomes later in life. The event will mark the start of broad consultations to develop a nurturing care framework for early childhood development – including actions and results that countries can use to guide their investments in early childhood development. In addition, the event will serve as the official launch of UNICEF’s new report Early Moments Matter for Every Child, which details a six-point action agenda for governments and businesses. 

This is a joint high-level event hosted by Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (EVAC); Every Woman Every Child (EWEC), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Sanitation & Water for All (SWA), the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN); UNICEF; and the World Health Organization (WHO).


  • H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
  • H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile
  • Dr. Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director
  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom, WHO Executive Director
  • Dr. Keith Hansen, Vice President for Human Development, World Bank Group
  • Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International
  • Dr. Linda Richter, Distinguished Professor and the Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) – National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre of Excellence in Human Development, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Hon. Florence Nakiwala, Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Uganda
  • Tone Skogen, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
  • Diana Amini  Global Manager H&M Foundation
  • Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President, Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop

WHEN: 11:00am-12:30pm ET, 21 September 2016.
WHERE: The Every Woman Every Child Hub, North Lawn, United Nations, New York City.

WHY: The earliest years of life – especially the first 1,000 days – offer a critical, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape children’s brain development and, by doing so, influence their present and future health, happiness, ability to learn, and even how much they earn when they reach adulthood. Protection, good nutrition, play and early learning experiences in the crucial first years of life have lasting benefits on individual lives and the development of society.

Yet, today millions of babies and young children across the world are at risk of sub-optimal development because of poverty, stunting, low parental education and violence in the home and community. Caregivers are often not able to provide responsive care, through meaningful and affectionate interactions, opportunities for play and early learning. As a consequence, children are deprived of love and stimulation, and deprived of good nutrition and good health care.

By discussing partner experiences and highlighting the six-point action agenda for governments and businesses, detailed in UNICEF’s new report, the event aims to galvanize political commitment for investments in early childhood, and showcase the importance of cross-sectoral investments, including via multi-stakeholder partnerships, to deliver on the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and give every child the best start in life.


To register your attendance to this event, please contact:

Georgina Thompson, UNICEF New York, + 1 212 265 4524, +1917 238 1559,

Media contacts

UNICEF Media Team
Tel: +1 212 303 7984


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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