Building Brain Power: A new RESULTS brief on the importance of investing in young children
As a new year and a new administration begin, RESULTS continues to advocate for increased resources and implementation of policies that prioritize expanding access to free, quality early childhood development programs in the poorest countries around the world. To that effect, we have recently published an advocacy brief focusing on the importance of Building Brain Power.
The brief centers around the necessity of investing early and often in multi-sectoral interventions for children and caregivers. Spotlighting a landmark study released by The Lancet in October of 2016, the brief explains the current crises wherein 43 percent of children in low and middle income countries under the age of five are at risk of not reaching their development potential. This tragedy negatively impacts not only the world’s children, but entire nations and economies. Children who lack proper nutrition, healthcare, age appropriate mental stimulation, or some combination of all of the above face incredible challenges throughout the rest of their lives. On average, these children encounter greater health risks, complete fewer years of education, and experience a 25 percent loss of wages as adults.
The brief also covers the essential next steps needed to address this pressing issue. For example, The Lancet has identified nurturing care as the package of health, nutrition, security and safety, responsive caregiving, and early learning services that the youngest children need to thrive. Success stories share global examples of effective investments that focus on support for the most marginalized children and families, and recommendations for the United States Government stress the importance of expanding on existing health systems and strengthening early years education.