A child’s most important steps happen before they set foot in a primary school. By their fifth birthday, children’s brains are 90% developed and the foundations for success at school and in later life are in place. This makes a child’s early years a critical window of opportunity – to set the foundations for life-long success, first at school, and later in life.
Early Childhood Development, Education and Care (ECD/ECEC) has become a priority for governments and international bodies. ECD/ECEC is explicitly included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4, 4.2), underlining the global consensus.
There is a global consensus about the importance of high quality early childhood development, education and care (ECDEC) programmes. Increasingly, the systemic characteristics of early childhood programmes are recognised by policy makers and international bodies. This ‘systemic turn’ has created new challenges.