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The answer to the question posed in the title mostly lies in the fact that you, our readers, recognize the importance of the early years of life in the proper development of children in Latin America and the Caribbean, thus making it possible for the region to grow with equity and productivity. Because you have opinions and comments that other readers value and enjoy sharing. And because you have lots of ideas that help us to enrich the child development programs that the IDB supports throughout the region.

The First Steps blog turns two today—the two most important years for growth. We wish to celebrate with all of you because you truly understand that this blog is about being informed and knowing what really works—and what doesn’t—for our children. On an individual level, this means being a good mom or dad, aunt or uncle, or grandma or grandpa, but it also involves countries’ knowledge of the best policies to adopt so that their children develop to their fullest potential.  As you well know, public policies are also defined by an informed society that understands how to demand what the community needs.

In 2013, we published 70 posts in English and Spanish. Forty-seven of these posts were written by IDB experts from the divisions of Social Protection and Health, Education, Gender and Diversity, Institutions, and the Social Sector, among others, while 23 were penned by guest bloggers from the World Bank, Pan American Health Organization, and Global Child Development Group, to name a few, who are internationally recognized for their work in the field of child development. What was your favorite article?

The five most-read articles were as follows:

  1. Three Minutes that Can Change a Child’s Life
  2. A Father’s Love
  3. The Long-Term Impact of High-Quality Early Childhood Education
  4. Teen Mothers
  5. The Challenges of Colombia’s “De Cero a Siempre” Strategy

Take the opportunity to read them again. There’s a reason they were so popular!

The blog has formed partnerships with a number of media outlets in the region, which publish and disseminate the discussions generated on a weekly basis. Our media partners who currently syndicate our blog include El Clarín (Argentina), El Universal (Mexico), ABC Color (Paraguay), El Observador (Uruguay), El Tiempo (Colombia), El Heraldo (Honduras), La Prensa (Nicaragua), La Prensa (Panama), El Comercio (Ecuador), El Listín (Dominican Republic), Revista América Economía (Chile), Revista El Economista (Central America), El Deber (Bolivia) and Univisión.com (USA), among others. As an example, one of our posts published in the paper El Universal [link in Spanish] has garnered over 29,500 page views to date.

Where do our readers come from? Our most frequent visitors hail from the following countries:

  1. Mexico
  2. Spain
  3. Colombia
  4. Peru
  5. Argentina

In the comments below or on Twitter using #IDBChildDevelopment, tell us about the topics you’d most like to see here on the blog as we begin our third year. We cannot say it often enough: we care about your opinion.

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