Date: 19-06-2014

ISSA endorses a UN appeal to prioritize early childhood development

  • The document "Early Childhood Development: The Foundation of Sustainable Human Development for 2015 and beyond” was presented at a side event during the 11th session of the UN’s Open Working Group.
  • It is time to help policy and decision-makers understand the importance of Early Childhood Development to global development.

Within the framework of the UN post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, early childhood organizations are putting all efforts in raising awareness of the relevance ECD has in the global development of children and societies. Together with several other organizations, ISSA has recently endorsed a new UN appeal to the Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly, the body leading the discussions on the new Sustainable Development Goals. The appeal calls the OWG to: 1. Speak out about young children and ECD in their sessions: Reference to young children is missing from discussions around the post-2015 goals. It is up to us to ensure that children’s rights and well-being are represented beyond child-survival, growth, nutrition and access to pre-primary education. 2. Call for targets that cut across the framework: Early Childhood Development is a comprehensive package of interventions covering health, education, social protection, women’s empowerment, nutrition and security which contributes not only to the well-being of children but also of their families, communities and countries. 3. Highlight good practice in each country: Members of the OWG could use this opportunity to champion examples of good practices around early childhood development in their countries. 4. Public advocacy: This is also a good chance for each country to encourage stakeholder groups and the general public to draw attention to the general benefits of ECD and sign the Global Early Years Petition, which has already reached more than 11.000 signatures worldwide. Recent research shows that Early Childhood Development programs offer the possibility to bring a holistic and integrated approach to sustainable development. The Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development and all the partners who endorse the appeal, firmly believe that through “creating an environment in which young children and their families can grow up and thrive will help achieve key health outcomes, promote social justice, advance women’s rights and gender equality”. ISSA hopes that this appeal, together with the other actions taken at international level, will help put Early Childhood Development at the heart of the UN post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. ISSA is a vibrant network that connects professionals and non-profit organizations working in the field of early childhood development. Established in the Netherlands in 1999, ISSA’s community today stretches across the globe with its more than 50 members primarily located in Europe and Central Asia. Building upon the Step by Step Program initiated by the Open Society Foundations in 1994, ISSA aims to ensure equal access to quality care and education for all young children from birth to 10 years old. This mission is implemented through three main pillars of action: equal access for all children; promoting high-quality and professionalism in early years services and empowering parents and communities to be part of the children’s development and learning. For more information on the UN appeal, you can download the full document here.