The Global Equity Approach for Children

In the world today, we’re threatened with an undeniable truth: The future of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and therefore the future of their societies will be imperiled for no other reason than the country, the community, the gender or the circumstances into which they are born. Millions of children are still denied access to education simply because their parents are poor or from a stigmatized group, because they were born female, or because they are growing up in countries affected by conflict or prolonged crises. And even though poverty is falling globally, nearly half of the world’s extreme poor are children, and many more experience multiple dimensions of poverty in their lives. Without quality education, disadvantaged children are far more likely to be trapped as adults in low-skilled, poorly paid and insecure employment, preventing them from breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage. But a greater focus on early childhood development, on Read More

The Developing Brain: An Early Window Of Opportunity For Learning

Long before a child enters the classroom, inequities can create a lasting imprint on the architecture of the brain. Recent research on brain development casts new light on the formative influence of early childhood experience. In the first few years of life, a child’s brain creates 700 to 1,000 new neural connections every second, a pace that later diminishes. These early connections set the foundation on which later connections are built. The new research shows that nutrition, health care and interaction between children and their caregivers can help with brain development in early childhood. Conversation, repeating and connecting words in meaningful contexts, and early exposure to literacy through reading and play are all positively associated with language skills. Conversely, frequent exposure to chronically stressful events in infancy, including nutritional deprivation and violence, can affect children by damaging neurons in areas involved in learning and emotional development. In other words, these Read More