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ECD Resources

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

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 

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 

by A Theirworld Report Written by Maysa Jalbout and Katy Bullard

The report highlights how the provision of ECE for refugees is extremely limited in many settings and poorly funded. This is despite the strong evidence base on the impact quality ECE can have to help children manage their trauma and support their short-term and long-term wellbeing and development. Through an extensive literature review and several consultations with experts and practitioners, it examines the landscape of ECE in refugee settings, focusing on professional development available for ECE teachers.

The report provides a roadmap for how we can improve support and professional development to ECE teachers in refugee contexts, with four key avenues:

1 - Make the science of ECD and Learning more accessible

2 - Partner with TVET institutions in refugee settings

3 - Support establishment of communities of practice to foster collaboration and exchange between teachers and practitioners

4 - Translate learning from local communities into broader evidence and resources through a hub or learning lab system.

Please visit https://theirworld.org/resources/detail/supporting-early-childhood-education-teachers-in-refugee-settings for more information. 

See a recording of The Key series event on the topic here: https://theirworld.org/news/key-series-live-supporting-early-learning-teachers-refugee-children 

by LEGO Foundation ( Playfuture- Exploration Team)

Parents want their children to be happy, to learn useful skills, and to be prepared for life. Play can help parents help their children get there. Some parents might not be aware (or might have forgotten) about the power of play to provide children with rich, joyful learning experiences in which they gain valuable skills for life. 

How do we remind them? How do we spread the message?

Lego Foundation and the (Playfutures exploration team) co-created a set of communication guidelines as reminders for communicating with parents and caregivers about their role in engaging children in playful activities.

by Webinar presenters

ARNEC together with UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) are pleased to host the webinar entitled, 'Building Futures: Applying the Early Childhood Development Service Quality Standards for South Asia.'

This webinar aims to: 

(1) Introduce and provide an overview of the ECD Service Quality Standards and Guidelines, including the planning, implementation, mentoring, and monitoring and regulation of these services. 

(2) Encourage countries, especially in South Asia to think about how they can apply these ECD service quality standards given their own contextualized specifications for quality. 

(3) Reinforce how these standards can develop a common understanding of the holistic, integrated and developmentally appropriate nature of quality in ECD among all stakeholders by serving as a common point of reference, which to date has not existed in the South Asian context. 

Click here to access the presentation slides deck. Click here to read the webinar highlights. The recording of the webinar can be accessed from ARNEC's YouTube Channel. 

You can download a copy of the ECD Service Quality Standards for South Asia or visit https://www.unicef.org/rosa/documents/building-futures.  

by UNICEF ROSA

Building Futures: Early childhood development (ECD) service quality standards for South Asia has been developed by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia to promote a shared vision for the provision of holistic and comprehensive quality ECD services in the region. These standards are designed with the principles of child rights, equity and inclusion at its core and are intended to assist countries in developing their own standards in cases where they do not already exist; and in countries where standards already exist, it may serve as a key reference when these standards are reviewed and updated. 

The guidance was developed with the recognition that good quality ECD services have the potential to break the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty and deprivation and to promote social equity, economic growth and prosperity. While the critical role of parents and families as primary caregivers is acknowledged, ECD services should be valued as a public good for which the government must take primary responsibility and accountability.  

We hope that Building Futures will serve as a useful guiding document for all stakeholders who may be working across related sectors involved in policymaking, planning, implementing and overseeing ECD provisions and services for children to ensure they meet quality standards. 

by UNICEF ROSA

Building Futures: Early childhood development (ECD) service quality standards for South Asia has been developed by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia to promote a shared vision for the provision of holistic and comprehensive quality ECD services in the region. These standards are designed with the principles of child rights, equity and inclusion at its core and are intended to assist countries in developing their own standards in cases where they do not already exist; and in countries where standards already exist, it may serve as a key reference when these standards are reviewed and updated. 

The guidance was developed with the recognition that good quality ECD services have the potential to break the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty and deprivation and to promote social equity, economic growth and prosperity. While the critical role of parents and families as primary caregivers is acknowledged, ECD services should be valued as a public good for which the government must take primary responsibility and accountability.  

We hope that Building Futures will serve as a useful guiding document for all stakeholders who may be working across related sectors involved in policymaking, planning, implementing and overseeing ECD provisions and services for children to ensure they meet quality standards. 

by Center on the developing child, Harvard University

In this video, learn more about how play can foster children’s resilience to hardship, and how the complex interactions involved when children play help build their brains.

Please visit: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/play-in-early-childhood-the-role-of-play-in-any-setting/  

by Webinar presenters

ARNEC is pleased to host the webinar series entitled, 'Nurturing care for young children: seeking solutions for addressing disparities heightened by the impact of COVID-19'.

For this webinar series, the thematic focus will be on health and nutrition, early learning, responsive caregiving, and child safety and security, all of which are dimensions of nurturing care. The series will explore the long-term impact of COVID-19 on these nurturing care components, especially on the most vulnerable groups, and draw out innovations and solutions from the countries as they design and implement their recovery and resiliency plans.

ARNEC aims to mobilise the ECD community in the region, particularly practitioners, policy makers, and advocates at the country level, to share community, local and/or country-level solutions which adapt nurturing care practices and ECD programmes to the current realities and long-term effects of COVID-19.

The third webinar in the series focuses on the status and solutions in promoting responsive caregiving for young children in the Asia-Pacific region during and beyond the pandemic. A special emphasis will also be made on building resilience and the positive bond between caregivers and young children through playful parenting in support of pandemic recovery in the home and community.

The following questions shall be explored:

1. What are the long-term effects of COVID-19 on responsive caregiving and parenting? 

2. How do countries and governments strengthen their parenting programs and interventions to respond to the challenges of COVID-19, both short- and long-term?

3. What evidence have we generated to elevate the role of play to support home-based ECD interventions as part of pandemic recovery and to support policy change?

4. What have we learned about parenting education interventions during the pandemic and how do we use these experiences to inform recovery strategies and ECD investments?

5. What evidence-based resources and tools are available to support parents and caregivers as they engage their young children in home-based developmental practices? 

Panellists:

1) Dr Jamie M. Lachman, Senior Research Officer at the University of Oxford Department of Social Policy and Intervention and a research fellow at the University of Glasgow MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 

2) Dr. Dipu Shakya Education Specialist, UNICEF Nepal

3) Sandipan Paul, Education Specialist, UNICEF Pacific

Moderator: Shikha Jain, Technical Advisor in Plan India and ARNEC Steering Committee member (Core Team Representative)

Click here to read the summary and evaluation report of the webinar. Click here to download the presentation slides deck. The recording of the webinar can be accessed from ARNEC's YouTube Channel

by UNICEF

The scientific community has sounded the alarm. Climate change is a global emergency and we have little more than a decade to undertake the urgent and unprecedented action required to limit global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Beyond that time, the risks of deadly drought, flooding, heatwaves, extreme weather, and poverty will significantly worsen for hundreds of millions of people.

Children will continue to suffer the most under the impacts of climate change. With this in mind, UNICEF has set out to examine current national climate policies/plans to ascertain how child-sensitive2 they are and provide recommendations on how to strengthen the focus on children’s rights, including actionable and measurable results for children.

Despite the many ways climate change impacts them, children are consistently overlooked in the design and content of climate policies and related processes.

In order to overcome this lapse, this report assesses the current landscape of national climate change policies and plans and the degree to which these are child-sensitive. To that end, UNICEF analyzed 160 NDCs3 and 13 NAPs comprising a quantitative and qualitative assessment, based on:

• A systematic search of key words to capture any direct or relevant reference to children and youth in the policy.

• An assessment of the nature of the reference to evaluate whether this was ‘substantive’ or ‘passive’.

by Bernard van Leer Foundation

The Starter Kit is designed to help municipal governments and their partners understand the value of investing in their youngest inhabitants and the people who care for them, and to provide actionable ideas and guidance on how to do so. 

The Starter Kit includes:

• An introduction to early childhood development and why it matters for cities

• An introduction to Urban95

• Ideas for action

• Implementation guidance

by ECWI

This brief seeks to shed light on these questions. Developed by the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI), a multi-stakeholder global initiative co-led by Results for Development (R4D) and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) that works to support and empower those who work directly with young children, the brief highlights common approaches parenting programs are using to continue engaging with families, including transitioning to deliver services virtually and adapting to provide enhanced psychosocial support. We use the five priority actions to support the early childhood workforce outlined in ECWI’s COVID-19 Position Statement as a light guide and explore how some parenting programs are prioritizing the health, safety, and psychosocial well-being, expanding training and guidance, and recognizing the workforce delivering these critical services. Several short case studies provide context and detail to these programs’ efforts and the brief concludes with a set of reflections on the challenges and possibilities ahead.

Author(s): Kavita Hatipoglu with support from Michelle Neuman and Denise Bonsu (R4D) and Konstantina Rentzou and Zorica Trikic (ISSA)

To learn more about the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI), please visit https://www.earlychildhoodworkforce.org/  

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