The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) signal a greater focus on inter-sectoral, collaborative
approaches to ensuring that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality. This is
reflected in the current global concern with promotion of holistic, community-based programmes to
support early childhood development and wellbeing – widely referred to as ‘early childhood
Within this context, this technical study sought to achieve consensus among 14 global experts on training needs for 3 groups of personnel (‘cadres’) involved in delivery of early childhood development (ECD) programmes. The 3 cadre groups, identified via a comprehensive review of literature on current issues in the provision of ECD, comprise delivery of education, health and community-based early childhood interventions across a diverse range of low resource settings.
The study responds to a gap in knowledge on training needs for ECD cadres, associated with a
serious dearth of human resources to support provision of ECD services.
Challenges reported here, based on comprehensive review of available literature, include:
A long-running, severe global shortage in availability of cadres to support delivery of ECD
To date, delivery of key health and education interventions principally in siloes, with limited
integration and practitioners/professionals/para-professionals widely employed in vertical
Low professional and social status of many ECD cadres, due to a lack of systematic
recognition and support. This has resulted in large numbers of cadres with undefined career
paths, and high rates of turnover
In response, there is expert consensus on mechanisms for supporting ECD cadres working in low-resource contexts via the following strategies:
Development of coherent systems to support ECD training and professional development.
Within systems for ECD cadres training, a strong focus on the importance of contextually-grounded programmes, materials / resources and strategies for implementation.
Adoption of the concept of ‘nurturing care’ (Britto et al., 2017) as an underpinning principle for provision of ECD cadres training.
This work was led by a team at Bishop Grosseteste University in collaboration with colleagues from The University of Hong Kong, McGill University, University of Nebraska, University of Wollongong and University College London. It was funded by the UK Department for International Development’s Policy Research Fund
Pearson, E., Hendry, H., Rao, N., Aboud, F., Horton, C., Siraj, I., Raikes, A. Miyahara, J. (2017).
Reaching expert consensus on training different cadres in delivering early childhood development
at scale in low-resource contexts. UK Government Department for International Development.
Pearson, E., Hendry, H., Rao, N., Aboud, F., Horton, C., Siraj, I., Raikes, A. Miyahara, J. (2017). Training early childhood development cadres in low-resource contexts. UK Government Department for International Development.