What We’re Reading: Re-envisioning Early Childhood Policy and Practice

What We’re Reading: Re-envisioning Early Childhood Policy and Practice

The Harvard Center’ on the Developing Child‘s most recent report introduces “ECD 2.0″, which adds three new concepts to the present understanding of Early Childhood Development.  


Many APC members are supporting Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives to improve outcomes in the region—such as the APC Regional ECD Research, which looks at different ECD policies and programmes across Indonesia, Philippines, and China, or the 1000 Days Fund, which looks at addressing stunting in Indonesia. Thus, it is necessary to keep abreast with the most recent developments in the ECD field.

We recently came across the Harvard Center on the Developing’s Child most recent report, Re-Envisioning Early Childhood Policy and Practice in a World of Striking Inequality and Uncertainty, which introduced “ECD 2.0”, which adds three new core concepts to present-day understanding of ECD.

ECD 2.0 places a greater emphasis on addressing inequities and uncertainties in today’s world. To do so, the report encourages ECD stakeholders to adopt a “science-informed mindset”, allowing science to be more actionable in critical areas such as:

  • Supporting the advancement of knowledge of knowledge, capacity to measure, and ability to prevent or reduce the disruptive impacts of early adversity by strengthening the building blocks of resilience;
  • Scaling up access to evidence-based services while doubling down on the need to expand impact and generate higher returns; and
  • Promoting the significance of relationships in health development, while development new techniques to address systemic inequities affecting ECD.

Taking these into account can help align stakeholders around a common goal, guiding investments of resources towards making an effective impact in the ECD ecosystem.  Stakeholders can look into supporting the following policies and practices:

  • Strengthening community-based networks among services for families, primary health care for children and their caregivers, and early care and education programmes; 
  • Funding policies and programmes which support responsive relationships in childhood development, reduce sources of stress for young children and strengthen of core skills throughout their developing years;
  • Confronting structural inequities—such as unequal access to opportunities in education, health care, and wealth creation—at a societal level to create impact on a greater level.

Applying the core concepts of ECD 2.0 can help us make more science-informed decisions, readily identify structural barriers, and organise targeted investments to fill gaps within the ECD ecosystem.

Access the article here.