• Article

Early child development programmes Further evidence for action

With the recognition that early child development lays the foundation for subsequent academic and social performance, economic productivity, and societal contributions, support for early child development programmes and policies has increased worldwide.1 Longitudinal studies and neuroscientific evidence have shown that, during the formative periods of children's development, brain architecture and functioning are responsive to environmental conditions (both adversities and nurturance), which continue throughout life and into the subsequent generation.2, 3 and 4 In response to the role of early child development in building human capacity, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include two targets for children younger than 5 years: meet developmental milestones (indicator 4.2.1) and participate in organised learning before primary school (indicator 4.2.1). The SDGs hold countries accountable for measuring and reporting on these targets.


Black, M. M., & Hurley, K. M. (2016). Early child development programmes: Further evidence for action. The Lancet Global Health, 4(8), E505-E506. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30149-8