New Member Interest Group: Early Childhood Development taking a front seat

By Stacey Choe

APC launched our second Member Interest Group in October, this time on Early Childhood Development (ECD), an area that members in many countries all expressed interest in.  Helming the group is Laurence, whose family foundation has strongly advocated inclusive and holistic ECD programmes for many years now.

With so many different countries and members at varying stages of their ECD journey, members agreed that it will focus on the three to six-year-old age range for current discussions, and this group will serve as a platform for them to learn more about best practices, research and programmes.  A common point of agreement was that ECD requires a multi-sector/holistic approach to development, including education, security and health.

Everyone was keen to hear what each other were doing – some were operating foundations focused on ECD, whilst others were grant-making organisations looking at good projects to support.  One such project that was highlighted was Onesky, a non-profit that started in China but recently launched a best-in-class centre in Vietnam for migrant children.

The group was also excited to confirm the next meeting date on 23 January 2019, and agreed that future gatherings should include subject matter experts and site visits.  The secretariat will also be conducting a basic mapping of members’ work in ECD, whilst sharing resources with the group via a shared drive.

Since the meeting, further discussions on ECD continued at venn in Manila, where more members joined in and shared their knowledge and perspectives on this topic, especially on health and nutrition, including the importance of the first thousand days.  Many also highlighted the role of government and systems in supporting and scaling efforts for effective impact and continuity.

APC will continue to facilitate discussions on this issue and any interest in catalysing new collaborative projects in this area, which could be across borders or within each country.

For more information to get involved or notes and resources, reach out to [email protected]