Inclusive Early Childhood Development - An Underestimated Building Block of Poverty Reduction
Investments in the first years of life - especially at the sensitive age of 0 to 3 years - have a greater impact on a person's mental and physical development than in later years of life. This is particularly true for developing countries. This is why investments in early childhood development are particularly efficient from an economic perspective, explained Emiliana Vegas of the World Bank. Early childhood development therefore plays a key role in the development potential of societies. It contributes decisively to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of poverty reduction as well as the development goals of health and education.
Even during pregnancy, inadequate nutrition can have long-term negative consequences for the child. Iodine deficiency, for example, can lead to mental retardation in the child. The costs of appropriate measures are often low. For example, the regular intake of vitamin A can reduce child mortality in many countries by up to 23 %, Dr. Sous from 'German Doctors for Developing Countries' illustrated. However, appropriate measures should not only focus on health and education, but also strengthen children's self-confidence. This is especially true for children with disabilities: "We should look at the child's abilities and not at what the child cannot do," said Usha Ramakrishnan, an Indian expert on inclusive early childhood development. It is important to make all measures for early childhood development inclusive, i.e. to involve children with disabilities from the very beginning.
In the concluding panel discussion, Guido Falkenberg (Kindernothilfe) self-critically stated that German non-governmental organisations are not yet sufficiently aware of the importance of early childhood development. In some areas, convincing is still necessary.
Many participants also emphasised the desire for more intensive networking of community-based and rights-based development cooperation on the ground, which is particularly necessary with regard to early childhood development.
Presentations by the Speakers
- The Risks of Poverty for Child Development (pdf, 485,7 kb)
Nora Sabani, UNICEF, New York
- Strategies and Implementation of a Holistic Approach to ECD (pdf, 820,9 kb)
Nadica Janeva, UNICEF, Macedonia
- The Economic and Social Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Development (pdf, 743,1 kb)
Emiliana Vegas, World Bank, Washington D.C.
- Early Child Development in Developing Countries - the Role of Nutrition and Stimlation (pdf, 4,5 mb)
Sally Grantham McGregor, Centre for International Health and Development, London
- Early Childhood Development - Health, Nutrition & Stimulation (pdf, 3,8 mb)
Dr. Pablo Stansbery, Save the Children, Washington D.C.
- Kindergesundheit - Müttergesundheit (pdf, 2,5 mb)
Dr. Lisa Sous, German Doctors, Bonn
- Consequences of Poverty on Early Child Health and Development (pdf, 4,9 mb)
Dr. Bhoomikumar Jegannathan, Caritas, Cambodia
- will follow shortly (Dr. Anette Berg)
- Identification of Child Disabilities in Low and Middle Income Countries (pdf, 691 kb)
Carissa Gottlieb & Maureen Durkin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.
- Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) - An Effective Approach for Poverty Reduction & Promotion of Human Development (pdf, 6,6 mb)
Chapal Khasnabis, WHO, Geneva
- Cheshire Homes Durban - Improving the Lives of Children (pdf, 4,99 mb)
Sandy Padayachee, Cheshire Homes Durban, South Africa
- Early Detection and Early Intervention - Challenges and Solutions in the Framework of CBR Programmes (pdf, 297,6 kb)
Roelie Wolting, Caritas, Freiburg
- Creating New Avenues For Early Inclusion
Usha Ramakrishnan, U.S.
- Development of a National Model for Inclusive Early Education in Chile (pdf, 1,67 mb)
Patricia Araneda Castex, GIZ/JUNJI, Chile
- Kinder mit besonderem Förderbedarf unter 3 Jahren (pdf, 115,8 kb)
Marlies Mulder, Caritaskindergarten Der Kleine Prinz, Ochtrup