What’s most exciting in ECD? We asked the experts…

We surveyed practitioners from 28 countries about their joys and challenges

Apolitical, in partnership with the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, has been covering Early Childhood since 2017, highlighting innovative policies and key trends in the field for our audience of global policymakers on our Deep Dive since 2017.

But this year, we decided to reach out to some of the experts in the field that we’ve engaged with on this topic, to hear their thoughts on the field: what’s exciting them, and what are their biggest challenges?

In the end, we heard from 64 expert respondents across 28 countries. Here’s some of what they told us:

The areas of ECD policy that experts find most exciting and innovative are early learning (29%) and improving parenting (24%), ahead of health and nutrition (14%) and building safe environments (11%)

Some of the work we’ve shared on early learning on the deep dive recently includes this story on the UN’s new guidance for teaching young children about climate change, and a case study on a program delivering play-based learning in several developing country contexts.

Experts see the greatest potential to effect change in the future through bettering inter-sectoral collaboration (32%) and developing capacity to scale (29%).

Inter-sectoral collaboration is a perennial interest for Apolitical members across most disciplines. If you’d like to explore the issue in more depth, you could take a look at our innovative public partnerships deep dive. As for scaling, we’ve just completed a series of articles, again in partnership with BVLF, on scaling programs aimed at young children and their caregivers. Why not start with this story on how to build a feminist city, one of our most popular policy stories this year.

Practitioners told us they are experiencing barriers due to: lack of resources, underfunding, challenges bringing together stakeholders, limited private sector involvement, silo mentality / lack of holistic approaches, lack of public awareness and political will.

We picked up significant interest in the intersection between ECD and other policy areas, namely: poverty/economic insecurity, parent/family support, child protection, education, (mental) health policy, and urbanisation.

If you have anything you’d like to share with us about your work on early childhood, or our coverage of the issue, don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or on Twitter.

(Picture credit: Pixabay)

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