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lack of school readiness

Early childhood development

Why early years?

The first six years of a child’s life are critical, laying the foundations for their future development and wellbeing. Inadequate care and stimulation in these early years often leads to poor health, poor education, lost life opportunities and poverty.


As well as disadvantaging these children and their families, it is estimated that this lost potential reduces adult earning income by 20% on average.


Conversely, children who receive quality early care are proven to have better school readiness, school achievement and higher adult earnings.


Cost-benefit ratios of early intervention indicate that for every dollar spent on improving early child development, returns can be on average 4 to 5 times the amount invested, and in some cases, much higher (The Lancet 2007, 2011 & 2016 ECD series).

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"Ensuring the healthy cognitive, social and emotional development of young children merits the highest priority of every responsible government, organisation, community, family and individual for the sake of raising healthy children worldwide.


Reaching children in a holistic manner and incorporating health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and interventions that support their full development is crucial".



"Play helps children develop the intellectual, emotional, social and creative skills that are of lifelong benefit to them and their communities".


Lego Foundation

Why play?

  • One of the most important ways for a child to learn and develop is through play. Play is an excellent way for children to learn information, ideas and skills.

  • Through play, children learn to discover and interact with the world around them.

  • Play arouses curiosity and stimulates imagination, which leads to discovery and creativity.

  • Play provides a way for children to express their feelings and work through emotional disturbances and builds teamwork and leadership skills.

  • Play develops dexterity as well as physical and cognitive strength.

  • The elements of play – curiosity, discovery, novelty, risk-taking, trial and error, games, social etiquette– are the same as the components of learning.

  • Play has been shown to enhance school readiness, learning behaviours and problem-solving skills.

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Consequences of ECD

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Consequences of good ECD



for school




    & performance


  employment          prospects

Economic prosperity

Confident &           aspirational

Good school achievement

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Consequences of poor ECD

Poor health




    & performance


 employment      prospects


Low confidence

        & aspiration

Education drop out & low achievement

Poor school readiness

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