The foundations for life are built in early childhood. In fact, learning starts before a child is even born.
Advances in neuroscience are redefining our understanding of early learning. By the age of two or three years, a child’s brain has up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood. These surplus connections are gradually eliminated throughout childhood and adolescence. Early experiences – positive and negative - influence the extent to which various synapses are strengthened or lost.
Global interest in early childhood has been fueled by the overwhelming evidence that quality early learning programmes stimulate individual growth and impact positively on national achievement. Early childhood development promotes greater equality, better health, better education, greater economic productivity and more social cohesion.
Those children who are denied quality early childhood development services not only start school at a disadvantage, but the gaps between them and their peers widens over time, reinforcing inequalities and stifling potential.
The protection and promotion of the development of young children is integral to the development of thriving communities and a healthy and prosperous society.