Leave No Child Behind
Invest in the Early Years Summary Report
Millions of children under the age of five living in low- and middle-income countries are at high risk of not achieving their full potential. Multiple factors inﬂuence this risk, including health, nutrition, security and safety, responsive caregiving, early learning opportunities, and access to safe water, sanitation and other basic services. High quality, equitable and inclusive early childhood development (ECD) can help mitigate this risk and smooth the pathway for the most marginalized to access their rights.
Urgent action is needed to strengthen systems to provide nurturing care for the most vulnerable of children. But there is evidence that investing in young children yields positive returns in education, health, and productivity, and is, therefore, a sound investment for every government. ECD is also aﬀordable. An additional 50 cents per person annually is all it costs for ECD to be incorporated into existing services. Despite evidence of high returns and aﬀordability, many governments are falling short of their commitments to young children. Most giving 1% or less of education aid to early learning. Therefore, this research shows that it is key to promote a better understanding of ECD amongst donor governments and recipient countries.