On 25 September 2015, countries around the world adopted a set of goals to
end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of the new
sustainable development agenda (United Nations, 2015). For young children
and families this was a landmark moment, as the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) recognise the critical importance of assuring that all young
children get off to a good start. For the Bernard van Leer Foundation, after
more than 50 years of experience investing in early childhood development
(ECD), this represents the dawn of a new era.
We are therefore relaunching this journal in a new format, on a new publication
schedule and to serve a new purpose. Early Childhood Matters: Advances in Early
Childhood Development will be published annually with the aim of elevating
key issues, spreading awareness of promising solutions to support holistic child
development and strong families, and exploring the elements needed to take
those solutions to scale. It is our hope that by documenting the advances in these
areas each year, we will be sharing the latest ideas, inspiring innovations and
contributing to momentum on behalf of young children and families.
That momentum is growing around the world. More than ever before, the
earliest years of life are being recognised as the foundation of human
development and economic success. Propelled by a combination of science,
economics, parental demand, new champions and common sense, we are
witnessing a revolution in thinking about the importance of the period from
pre-conception to the early primary grades.