Early childhood development (ECD) services can make a significant contribution to peacebuilding, social cohesion and sustainable development. High quality ECD services that focus on creating and sustaining nurturing environments can not only improve the child’s short-term developmental outcomes, but they are also associated with improved long-term outcomes in adulthood.
Indeed, if governments, institutions, organizations design and implement ECD programs that build context-specific peace-relevant attitudes, skills and knowledge in children, family, and government institutions; then there will be: (1) increased vertical and horizontal social cohesion, (2) a reduced risk of transgenerational transmission of violence, and (3) increased economic growth and sustainable development within communities, and at national and international levels.
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In a time of recurring violent conflict and societal shocks, it is vital we invest in long-term solutions to end cycles of violence, and build strong foundations for sustainable development and social cohesion.
Advances in neuroscience and economic studies demonstrate that early childhood experiences can have a profound impact on brain development and on a child’s subsequent learning and health, and financial earnings as an adult.