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ECD Resources

You may access the latest ECD resources below and filter by theme /resource categories and publication type.

by ARNEC Secretariat

On 28 Feb 2022, the world’s leading authority on climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability which assesses the impacts of climate change, particularly on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at the global and regional levels. The Report also highlights the vulnerabilities of the natural world and human societies, and their capacities and limits to adapt to climate change. In summary, the IPCC argues that ‘this report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.’

 In this statement, ARNEC highlights the linkages between the Report’s key messages and the implications to Early Childhood Development, and shows how Report findings offer evidence that reinforces ARNEC’s call to put young children at the centre of environmental and climate actions, and for the environment to be at the centre of early childhood development.

 Key takeaways:

1. Climate change worsens inequalities and adversely affects the most vulnerable populations, including young children, of the Asia-Pacific region.

2. Adaptation measures and accelerated action are urgently needed - our actions today shape our children’s future.

3. Human development measures are key in promoting sustainable resilience and adaptation.

Summary

 a. Climate change is a global challenge that requires collective action. The effort to pursue climate-resilient development is at risk, especially if global warming exceeds 1.5°C (2.7°F), and at even greater risk in some regions if global warming exceeds 2°C (3.6°F). This key finding underlines the urgency for climate action, focusing on equity and justice. ECD is inextricably linked to environmental issues and sustainable development policies in two ways: (1) young children urgently need support to be able to absorb the risk and damage caused by environmental degradation; and (2) promoting the well-being and rights of young children is key to building a sustainable future .

b. We support the interagency call to action from the world's leading child focused agencies to governments and the IPCC , such as World Vision, UNICEF, and Save the Children, that asks for future IPCC reports to give greater emphasis to children, reflecting the depth of available science as well as the needs of children (Tanner et al. 2022). We reinforce the ask for Governments and the IPCC to demonstrate the importance of children and future generations by commissioning an IPCC Special Report on Children and Climate Change, including the youngest children aged 0-8. The disproportionate burden that young children aged 0-8 will suffer due to a changing climate and the power of investing in young children’s development need to be recognized as part of climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and the movement towards sustainable development.

c. We stand with the youngest children and urge for their voices to be heard. The evidence in the IPCC Report shows that young children must be at the forefront of the collective action against climate change and be included in the preparations for COP27 and in all environmental and climate actions thereafter. Urgent action is needed now to realise the rights of the youngest children and protect their future against the climate crisis that they will so unfairly have to face. 

Our actions today shape our children's future. Read ARNEC’s full statement on the recent IPCC report or click on the download icon for a copy.  

Act now against climate change! Secure the future of young children.

by ARNEC Secretariat

Missed the webinar? Watch the recording on ARNEC's YouTube Channel and use the following links to access the webinar materials. 

Entitled Putting young children at the center of environmental and climate change actions, this webinar aims to kickstart ARNEC, UNICEF EAPRO and Save the Children’s Asia-Pacific regional initiative around advocating for young children’s rights to clean, safe and sustainable environments, focused on climate change and other environmental issues (indoor and outdoor pollution, a lack of clean and protective play and recreation spaces and exposure to environmental toxins such as lead and mercury). 

This webinar will introduce the building blocks for the initiative, exploring the interlinkages among ECD, climate change and other environmental risks focusing on the vulnerability of the youngest children to these two challenges, how they have been excluded in global discourse and actions such as COP26, and why ECD provides an opportunity to build resilience, adaptation and mitigation for sustainable development.

This webinar builds on ARNEC’s leadership in the 2019 Ha Noi Call to Action and subsequent collaborative Regional and Global Calls to Action released in the lead up to and during COP26; these Calls urged sustainable and measurable actions at global, regional, and country levels to reduce global warming, lessen the impacts of climate change, and secure a healthy and liveable planet for young children. Post COP26 negotiations, ARNEC, Save and UNICEF will lay out our proposed plan of action over the next three years for this initiative on clean, safe, and sustainable environments for early childhood development.  

We will invite participants to join the new Community of Practice (CoP) working in partnership to address the impacts of environmental and climate challenges on young children through knowledge generation, advocacy, partnerships, and capacity building, so that in the lead up to and during COP27, young children are included in the global response and national plans. More broadly, this Community of Practice will create a movement to promote actions at the different stakeholder levels supporting this regional initiative to increase awareness, investment and political commitment in the areas of policy, programs and financing that address the impacts of the environmental and climate crises on young children. 

This webinar aims to have participants from both the ECD sector (health, nutrition, care and education) who may be working with ECD and involved in policy-making, planning, implementing and environmental and climate change experts, to bridge the gap and learn more about the intersection between sustainable development and ECD, and how to involve the youngest children in climate and environmental responses. 

The objectives of this webinar are as follows: 

• Understand the linkages between climate change, environmental issues and ECD and why ECD is an opportunity to build resilience, adaptation and mitigation for sustainable development 

• Outline what ARNEC and partners will be doing over the next three years to support the youngest children in the region to address the impact of environment and climate challenges 

• Launch the Community of Practice (CoP) on ECD, climate change and environmental issues – outline the aim of the CoP and some upcoming activities and invite participants to be part of this CoP  

• Invite participants to help us identify environmental and climate policy makers who can champion the central importance of ECD in the fight against climate and environmental challenges.  

Watch the recording of the webinar on ARNEC's Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/_o06l4s9Jc4 

Related resources: 

Video - How does climate change affect children in Malaysia? (https://youtu.be/6FwbTgKSz-o)

Video - Voices Rising - a nursery rhyme animation on the climate crisis (https://youtu.be/RSBZzZ7JwRw)

World Bank - Moving Toward Climate Budgeting : Policy Note

UNICEF - The Principles and Policy Guidance on Children’s Rights to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment in the ASEAN Region

 

by UNICEF EAPRO

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for children in early childhood to develop healthy brains, bodies, and lives. While countries in East Asia and the Pacific have made substantial progress in investing in ECD, more than 150 million children younger than 5 years have been affected at the height of nationwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, services supporting the development and learning of young children will likely suffer more than other education levels as they remain closed or in limited duration for fear of children contracting COVID-19.  

The new report by UNICEF EAPRO, “Reopening Childcare and Early Learning Services: UNICEF Guidelines for East Asia and the Pacific” has been developed based on LACRO’s publication and adapted to suit the East Asia and the Pacific regional needs and context. It is intended for UNICEF country offices in the region to support their role in providing technical assistance to government partners and other organizations. The publication provides guidelines for reopening of services for young children aged 2 years up until the official primary school entry, either 5 of 6 years, and their families while it also includes a checklist to conduct rapid analysis of the services’ conditions and designing plans for a safe reopening.  

 Safe reopening of childcare and early learning services and preparing the response to future emergencies should be prioritized as prolonged closures of childcares, preschools, and early learning services can exacerbate the developmental and learning loss, especially for the most vulnerable children. 

 For more resources, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/eap/reports/reopening-childcare-and-early-learning-services

by UNICEF EAPRO

Early childhood development (ECD) is the most critical and influential developmental stage in a child’s life and investing in it cannot be delayed. Nurturing care for young children has a profound impact on a child’s physical, socioemotional and cognitive development. In the Asia-Pacific region, more than 150 million children younger than 5 years have been affected at the height of nationwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new report by UNICEF EAPRO, “Growing Steady and Strong: UNICEF Early childhood development regional guidance in East Asia and the Pacific” aims to provide a vision for action to UNICEF country offices in the region and key external stakeholders in implementing the ECD agenda as a key pillar for UNICEF in 2022-2025. The document includes context-adaptable tools and resources, as well as country examples and good practices to enhance ECD policies and programming in the region. Developed against the backdrop of COVID-19, the document aspires to outline pathways and strategies to address persistent challenges, as well as those emerging from rapidly emerging landscape – due to the global pandemic, worsening climate change, and rapid proliferation of digital technology. 

by ECDAN

Results from an international survey • January 2022 • 

The global response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has changed daily life in many ways for children, families, and care providers. There has been a sharp increase in research worldwide on COVID-19 and its impacts on children’s development and wellbeing.

In a recent research roundup , the Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) identified more than 400 publicly available, peer-reviewed COVID-19 studies related to early child development (ECD) and nurturing care in low- and middleincome countries. 

To support the ECD community to identify and focus on shared research priorities in the context of COVID-19. ECDAN conducted an international survey to identify pressing research priorities, with a specific focus on low- and middle-income countries. The results are presented in this report. 

The Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) will launch a COVID-19 and ECD Research Hub in January 2022 to consolidate original research on the pandemic’s impacts on young children and families in low- and middle-income countries. The digital repository will enable quick and easy access, a one-stop-shop, to COVID-19 research. All studies from this research brief will be available in the upcoming respository. 

For more information and resources, please visit: https://www.ecdan.org/knowledge-x.html  

Click here for a copy of "COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development in Low- and Middle-income Countries. A Research Roundup • December 2021"

by CRISIS GROUP

The visual details the understanding of the links between climate and conflict. The relationship of climate change to deadly violence is a complex one. This explainer demonstrates how the crisis group blend local research with climate science and state-of-the-art quantitative methods to unpack the specific pathways leading from climatic distress to conflict – and from there, to formulate policy recommendations that address the root causes of conflict.

Click here for the visual explainer 

International Crisis Group statement on UN Security Council Resolution, "Time for the UN Security Council to Act on Climate Security ".  

For more information, please visit: https://www.crisisgroup.org/

by UNESCO

Executive Summary: 

The efficient design and delivery of early childhood policies and services are critical to ensuring long-term learning opportunities and improved learning, behaviour, employment, and health outcomes amongst individuals. Research in neuroscience, developmental psychology and cognitive science has revealed that quality early childhood education, supportive communities and a positive family environment serve as important building blocks to promote healthy development amongst infants and toddlers. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic saw two-thirds of low- and middle- income countries reduce their public education budgets, hence reversing the hard-won gains for children, families, and communities in the field of early childhood education, nutrition, and health. In this light, appropriately designed and implemented policies and services for early childhood care and education (ECCE), early childhood development (ECD) and early childhood intervention (ECI) will enable all countries to protect and guarantee child rights, achieve high rates of return on their investments in child and family development and widen avenues for transforming societies and lives.In this context, through partnerships and broad multistakeholder collaboration, the Global Partnership Strategy for Early Childhood (GPS) was created to counter this negative trend in early childhood and to overcome the reduction of services for health, nutrition, sanitation, and child protection in all world regions. The overall aim of Global Partnership Strategy is driven by the core principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of “leaving no child behind”, by recommitting countries and partners on their earlier promise and ensuring that ECCE, ECD and ECI services are fully inclusive, accessible, affordable, gender-responsive, equitable and developmentally appropriate for each child. 

The Global Partnership Strategy has outlined key strategies to successfully harness support to develop well-designed ECCE/ECD and ECI policies and programmes in countries around the five areas: (1) evidence for action and rights; (2) data, monitoring and evaluation for accountability; (3) scaling-up access, inclusion, equity and quality; (4) strengthened policy, governance, financing and advocacy; (5) international and national coordination and cooperation. 

read more on...  

by UNICEF

Highlights

Almost two years into the pandemic, the widespread impact of COVID-19 continues to deepen, increasing poverty and entrenching inequality. While some countries are recovering and rebuilding in a ‘new normal’, for many, COVID-19 remains a crisis. The human rights of all children are under threat to a degree that has not been seen in more than a generation.

The global response so far has been deeply unequal and inadequate. The world now stands at a crossroads. The actions we take now will determine the well-being and rights of children for years to come.

This publication is also made avialble in other languages. Please visit: https://www.unicef.org/reports/unicef-75-preventing-a-lost-decade 

by Sheldon Shaeffer & World Forum Foundation

Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, Chair of the ARNEC Board of Directors, shares how the Early Childhood Development sector can help mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change on young children in his blog featured on Bonnie’s Global Café under the series ‘Our World from my Window’ series. 

Watch the 15-minute blog here: https://bonniesglobalcafe.worldforumfoundation.org/our-world-from-my-window/  

This blog is being made available with the permission of the World Forum Foundation. 

From day one, core mission of Bonnie’s Global Café has remained unchanged:

People who commit their lives to young children and their families have powerful stories to tell and we can find our own hope and inspiration as we listen. Bonnie’s Global Café is the space where people gather to share their stories. Stop by for tea and find affirmation and companionship

Bonnie’s Global Café was launched as a World Forum Foundation project by Bonnie and Neugebauer, co-founders of the World Forum Foundation. Bonnie’s objective was to enable people who are participants in World Forum Foundation community from over 100 countries to share their stories and news from their countries and to connect with each other through this sharing. So far over 250 members of the World Forum community from over 50 countries had shared news and stories in Bonnie’s Global Café.

by Bernard van Leer Foundation

Climate change is especially dangerous for young children. Yet discussions about climate seldom refer to the fate of young children. They should.

This edition of Early Childhood Matters is dedicated to examining the many ways that climate change and early childhood intersect. The authors of this edition includes leading policymakers, researchers, educators, urban planners and activists from around the world, sharing on how to both develop ecological resilience and improve well-being in the early years.

Featuring 34 articles — including powerful photo essays and personal interviews — Early Childhood Matters 2021 is split into three sections:

1️⃣Evidence: Showcasing the worrying data and #evidence to create awareness

2️⃣New Approaches: Inspiring examples of #cities prioritising climate action and young children

3️⃣Activism and Education: Tips and personal stories from activists ensuring climate justice for future

generations.

For more details, please visit: https://earlychildhoodmatters.online/issues/early-childhood-matters-2021/ 

by Webinar presenters

On 11 November 2021, the KIX EAP Hub organised its 10th webinar in collaboration with UNICEF and GPE’s Better Early Learning and Development at Scale (BELDS), an innovative partnership and knowledge initiative for integrating early child education (ECE) in sectoral planning. Attended by 202 people from approximately 48 countries, this webinar demonstrated the dire need to prioritise quality early childhood education through systems-level solutions with sustainability and capacity development at its core. 

For highlights and presentation slide deck on the webinar, please visit: https://www.norrag.org/event-highlights-kix-eap-webinar-tools-for-transformation-advancing-early-learning-through-the-ece-accelerator-toolkit/ 

To lear more about the ECE Accelerator toolkit, please visit: https://www.ece-accelerator.org/ 

by UNICEF

A discussion paper on child sensitivity and 2020-2021 nationally determined contributions (NDCs)

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. It is a direct threat to a child’s ability to survive, grow and thrive. Children and young people are the least responsible for climate change yet will bear the greatest burden of its impacts. Therefore, it is critical that national climate policies that set forth the priorities for climate response in countries are child sensitive. 

This is an interim discussion paper that will be updated after all remaining NDCs are submitted. It demonstrates a gap in child sensitivity of climate policies, explains the importance of including the needs and priorities of children and young people in policies and plans to benefit the whole of society, identifies best practices, and provides guidance for policymakers on how to meaningfully partner with children and young people as climate and environmental champions for a sustainable response.

For more information, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/documents/child-sensitive-climate-environment-policies 

Related resource: Investment Case for Child-Centred Climate Actions in the Context of COVID-19 in East Asia and the Pacific 

by Sheldon Shaeffer

Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, Chair of the ARNEC Board of Directors, shares his insights on the impact of climate change on young children and early childhood development (ECD) in his blog featured on Bonnie’s Global Café under the series ‘Our World from my Window’ series. 

Watch the 15-minute blog here: https://bonniesglobalcafe.worldforumfoundation.org/our-world-from-my-window/  

This blog is being made available with the permission of the World Forum Foundation.

From day one, core mission of Bonnie’s Global Café has remained unchanged:

People who commit their lives to young children and their families have powerful stories to tell and we can find our own hope and inspiration as we listen. Bonnie’s Global Café is the space where people gather to share their stories. Stop by for tea and find affirmation and companionship

Bonnie’s Global Café was launched as a World Forum Foundation project by Bonnie and Neugebauer, co-founders of the World Forum Foundation. Bonnie’s objective was to enable people who are participants in World Forum Foundation community from over 100 countries to share their stories and news from their countries and to connect with each other through this sharing. So far over 250 members of the World Forum community from over 50 countries had shared news and stories in Bonnie’s Global Café.

by WHO, IPA, ECDAN

Tobacco poses risks to children’s survival, health and development. Protecting children from tobacco smoke is essential to helping them survive and thrive. Children exposed to tobacco smoke are at an increased risk of a range of diseases and are more likely to take up smoking themselves. Enabling children to grow up free from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine is a key aspect of providing clean, safe and secure environments. Comprehensive smoke-free policies positively impact child health and development.

This webinar convened by the World Health Organization in collaboration with the International Pediatric Association and the ECD Action Network, probes further into the Thematic Brief "Tobacco control for children’s health and development" and provides examples of how comprehensive smoke-free policies positively impact child health and development.

This webinar will review the health risks that tobacco and second-hand smoke poses to children, starting from the prenatal period, and the strong protective effects of tobacco control measures. The webinar will provide an overview of World Health Organization’s package of proven effective measures, MPOWER, and include examples of how countries are taking action to create smoke-free environments.

Watch the recording on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcujtbRr4vk  

by Save the Children International

The threat posed to children and their rights by the climate crisis is not theoretical: it is real, and it is urgent. Save the Children has partnered with an international team of leading climate researchers led by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel to quantify the extent to which children will experience extreme weather events as a manifestation of climate change, the disparities between generations, and the widening inequality between high-income and low- and middle-income countries.

Without drastic mitigation action to reduce emissions and limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, led by high-income and high-emitting countries and informed by children’s best interests and identified priorities, the children of these low- and middle-income countries will be burdened with the most dangerous impacts of the climate crisis. They have inherited a problem not of their own making.

The window of opportunity to make a difference for children is quickly closing. Commitments to climate action and financing remain dangerously inadequate, and unless global leaders scale up their ambition now, current and future generations of children will suffer.

This report has been developed with the support of a dedicated Child Reference Group, comprised of 12 children aged between 12–17 years old from across the globe, to lay out how the intergenerational impacts of climate change are infringing on children’s rights to life, education, and protection.

The full report and executive summary are also made available in other languages at Save the Children's Resource Centre

Source: Save the Children 2021, Born into the Climate Crisis: Why we must act now to secure children’s rights, accessed 30 September 2021, <https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/library/born-climate-crisis-why-we-must-act-now-secure-childrens-rights?_ga=2.217569558.1490589562.1632999404-1425424107.1632999404>

by Prepared for the Global Alliance – Cities 4 Children by Save the Children, IIED, SEI, University of York, University of Portsmouth and IOM

Summary: This evidence into action brief summarises the state of research on the topic of urban air pollution in low- and middle-income countries and its impacts on children, and proposes ideas for action. Air pollution is a major global health challenge to which children are particularly vulnerable. In this briefing, the authors summarise the literature on this topic, focusing on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There are indoor and outdoor sources of air pollution and these pollutants can remain in the local area or be transported vast distances. Therefore, to reduce air pollution emissions and exposure to pollution, action is needed at local, national and international levels. In many cases, these actions can contribute to achieving multiple other sustainable development goals, including climate change mitigation. An integrated approach to action is needed, involving collaboration with community members, planners and policymakers. 

• Invest in regulatory air pollution monitoring stations and provide training on data management and how to interpret the data. This will highlight the extent of pollution in places where monitoring is lacking.

• Support the development of air quality management systems (including air-quality regulations and standards on emissions) to monitor and reduce air pollution, particularly in urban areas.

• Develop citizen science monitoring programmes to fill the gaps in monitoring. Scientists and community members should work together to answer scientific questions, collect data and co-design awareness-raising campaigns at community level. 

• Work with governments to integrate air pollution into climate change targets. Many sources of greenhouse gases are also sources of air pollutants. LMICS can increase their mitigation ambitions, meet international targets and achieve local development benefits through improved air quality.

by UNICEF

Highlights: Nutritious food in the earliest years of life is the cornerstone of a child’s development. Yet 2 in 3 children between the ages of 6 months to two years are not getting the nutritious diets they need to grow well.

For the first time, UNICEF’s flagship report examines the latest data and evidence on the status, trends and inequities in the diets of young children aged 6–23 months, and the barriers to nutritious, safe and age-appropriate diets.

New analysis presented in the global report shows that the world is failing to feed children well during the time in their lives when it matters most – before two years of age. It draws on a range of evidence sources, including regional analyses and real-life experiences of mothers across different countries, to highlight the most salient barriers to good diets for young children. The report outlines key actions for decision makers to make nutritious diets a reality for every child.

The brief is also available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic. For more information and resources, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/reports/fed-to-fail-child-nutrition 

by Plan International and Promundo

Promoting Men’s Engagement in Early Childhood Development: A Programming and Influencing Package includes resources developed for programmes that aim to increase male engagement in nurturing care and early childhood development (ECD), as well as in maternal health and wellbeing. Guidance is provided on how to work with men directly to promote their involvement in the nurturing care, learning and education of their young children. Considerations for working with healthcare providers and community health workers and with communities and leaders is included, as well as tools and templates on policy influencing and social and behaviour change communication campaigns in favour of men’s engagement. 

The document is part of Plan International’s commitment to gender transformative Early Childhood Development work. For more information about the package, click this link: https://plan-international.org/publications/promoting-mens-engagement-early-childhood-development. To find out about training opportunities to support men’s engagement in ECD, please contact Plan International at ECD@plan-international.org. 

by UNICEF EAPRO

Early childhood starting from conception, especially in the first 1,000 days of life, is a period when 90 per cent of brain development takes place. At this crucial time, young children need nurturing care – good health, adequate nutrition, responsive caregiving, early learning and stimulation, physical and emotional security and safety. This early moments in life offer a window of opportunity to boost children’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social development – influencing their readiness to learn in school, to solve problems, to relate to others, and overall mental health and well-being. This ultimately has a significant impact on their adult lives, affecting their ability to earn a living and contribute to their societies.  

COVID-19 threatens this precious opportunity for children in early childhood to develop healthy brains and lives through the disruption of essential health and nutrition services, the suspension of opportunities for early learning, the stress and burden on families and parenting, increased protection risks, and the severe negative impact on families’ household economies. 

Using the latest available evidence, this report summarizes the impact of the pandemic on services essential for young children’s development: For example, that the number of children younger than 5 years visiting community health centres in Viet Nam dropped by 48 per cent; that in Indonesia, more than 50 per cent of households reported not being able to meet their family’s nutritional needs; or that in the Philippines, more than 80 per cent of households experienced a decrease in their household income. Households facing disadvantages before COVID-19 – those with young children, those living in rural and remote areas and low-income households – are in most cases more disproportionally affected by the pandemic. 

For a copy of the case study, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/eap/young-children-and-pandemic 

by UNICEF

Highlights

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis presents the Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), which uses data to generate new global evidence on how many children are currently exposed to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses. A composite index, the CCRI brings together geographical data by analyzing 1.) exposure to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses; and 2.) child vulnerability. The CCRI helps to understand and measure the likelihood of climate and environmental shocks or stresses leading to the erosion of development progress, the deepening of deprivation and/or humanitarian situations affecting children or vulnerable households and groups. 

The summary report is also made available in other langugages, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/reports/climate-crisis-child-rights-crisis

For full report in English, please visit: https://www.unicef.org/media/105376/file/UNICEF-climate-crisis-child-rights-crisis.pdf 

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