Investing in the early years is one of the smartest investments a country can make to break the cycle of poverty, address inequality, and boost productivity later in life. Today, millions of young children are not reaching their full potential because of inadequate nutrition, lack of early stimulation and learning, and exposure to stress. Investments in the physical, mental, and emotional development of children — from before birth until they enter primary school – are critical for the future productivity of individuals and for the economic competitiveness of nations. Country leaders need to make commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition in children and expand access to early childhood development services by 2020 to ensure that children everywhere can thrive.
Even this is too late -something can happen now, as a 5 year old child is only 5 once, so 2020 is still too late.
It took just 5 months to establish a 12 week school readiness programme in 7 regions in Tanzania – developing a curriculum, writing and illustrating 12 story books, training 1000 volunteer Community Teaching Assistants, engaging communities and preparing more than 50,000 children to start primary school, where they could not access previously. In January 2016 a sample of children were assessed and achieved equally or more than children who had one year of pre-primary school and very much higher than those who had no access to pre-primary classes. They are now progressing well.
So why wait? We can make a start now!