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.
This Policy Brief offers five key messages that can underpin delivery of
the SDGs through the transformative potential of accessible, inclusive,
quality ECD for all young girls and boys, and for their families.
- Early deprivation affects the growth and changing structure and
function of the brain
- Inequalities emerge – and are best prevented – early in life
- Early child development programmes are cost-effective
- The first three years matter too
- The importance of ensuring programmes are targeted, equitable and
Woodhead, M. Early Childhood Development in the SDGs. Young Lives, ODID, Oxford, UK (2016) 6 pp.
Early Childhood Development in the SDGs