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María Caridad AraujoMaría Caridad Araujo
Lead Economist in Social Protection
Florencia Lopez BooFlorencia Lopez Boo
Senior Economist in Social Protection
Ferdinando RegaliaFerdinando Regalia
Head of Social Protection and Health Division

Take good care of Santiago (04:06)

We care about your opinion

The IDB Division of Social Protection and Health will write in this blog about our everyday learning and international experiences on early childhood development.

We invite you to share with us interesting initiatives that are being implemented in your country to promote such an important area for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

We look forward to reading your comments!

Apr 15 2014

by Daniela Philipp

By Irene via Wikimedia Commons

By Irene via Wikimedia Commons

Some weeks ago BBC News published an article on a new public policy approach that is being discussed in the UK that offers breastfeeding mothers 200 GBP (about US$300) as a one-time payment in form of shopping vouchers to encourage women to breastfeed their infants. The target population of this pilot program is women living in low-income areas of South Yorkshire and Derbishyre.

When I first read about this program, I thought this was a very interesting and innovative approach to promote breastfeeding. This is not the first attempt of giving financial incentives to people to stay healthy, of course. Read more…

Apr 11 2014


“How would American girls’ lives be different if parents were half as concerned with their bodies and twice as intrigued by their minds?”

An article published a couple of months ago in The New York Times ends with that rather pointed question. The piece’s title alone was already quite provocative: “Google, Tell Me. Is My Son a Genius?” While reading the article, the first thing that came to mind was the image of the Evil Queen from Snow White asking the mirror who was the fairest woman in the land. It turns out I wasn’t so far off the mark; the article talks about the frequency with which American parents turn to the Internet with questions about their children’s intelligence and beauty. Who would have guessed that in the 21st century, Google would be the go-to source for answers to this type of question, when not long ago we were resorting to low-tech mirrors a la Snow White (well, at least in fairy tales)? Read more…

Apr 8 2014

By Francisco Cajiao


Some time ago, the Inter-American Development Bank held a forum centering on the early childhood strategy that Colombia’s Office of the President has been coordinating under the leadership of First Lady María Clemencia Rodríguez. De cero a siempre (From Zero to Always), as the program has been so aptly named, is of particular importance to the country’s development, as it points the way toward reducing the social gaps that, unfortunately, exist in our society. Read more…

Apr 1 2014

by María Jose Prieto, Ph.D.


Mommy, come, hurry! –said Jimena in awe– The moon exploded!

This is how Jimena, a girl with autism, described fireworks: an exciting yet scary image for her.

For Jimena, like for so many children with autism, any daily experience may easily turn into something scary or impossible to comprehend. Often, this frustration extends to the parents, who are in constant need of modifying plans to adapt them to their child’s different needs. One of the greatest challenges for these parents is to help their children interact in the social environment in a safer manner. Read more…

Mar 25 2014

The quality of care and interaction during the first five years of life has a major impact on childhood development and is a critical determinant of a child’s future health, behavior, and intellectual abilities. In Latin America and the Caribbean, access to early childhood programs has increased over the past two decades, particularly for the poor, and preschool services are now available to 69 percent to the population, according to data from the United Nations. Read more…