Knowledge webpage on Early Childhood Development updated

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Quality early childhood development (ECD) services, are widely acknowledged as playing an important role in the overall education and care of young children. They provide an 'umbrella' for a regular monitoring of the health and nutrition status of children at a critical period of growth. Several researchers have also shown these to help develop children in preparation for going to primary school. They also counter inequalities by ensuring that the majority of children start basic schooling with a common orientation to the competencies required in primary school. This suggests a clear role for the State to support all families and care givers in seizing these opportunities for their children.

The UNICEF IRC seeks to contribute to the public debate on the role of the State in the policy area of early childhood by paying particular attention to research and analysis of good practices in developing and implementing national strategies for the provision of quality early childhood development services. This includes the setting of national targets and developing systems for monitoring and sharing of experiences among countries.

The new IRC knowledge webpage Early Childhood Development: The role of the State presents recent research and activities at the Innocenti Research Centre with respect to services in support of early childhood development: education and care. It links the early childhood related IRC research to UNICEF's policy development and initiatives in programme countries and early childhood related initiatives at key institutional players such as the World Bank, the OECD and the EU.