Christmas is a perfect occasion to bring the whole family together in a feeling of union and reflection, finally enjoying reunions that were postponed. Especially, it is an anticipated time for children, who look forward to enjoying gifts, games, songs, stories, and the attention of their loved ones.
We hope that this Christmas also finds us united as promoters of early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean, sitting “at the table”, collaborating and exchanging knowledge and the best strategies to protect the most valuable gift among us: the future of our children.
The diversity of faces and actions under a greater purpose
When it comes to early childhood development, we must all have a place at the discussion table, where there is no room for competition but cooperation. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, educators, program managers, political leaders, and policymakers must unite with actions to support children’s education, health, nutrition, and social protection. These efforts together, and not isolated, allow the most significant impacts.
At the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund, we have witnessed the power behind shared learning and partnerships and the impact we can have when we come together to work for early childhood. Some actors intervene in the design of innovations, others provide the necessary financing and resources, others are responsible for implementation on the ground, as well as for evaluating projects and scaling-up strategies.
The spectrum of intervention of our projects is varied just like the faces of its protagonists. To name a few: we have projects to measure child development, interventions to stimulate the development of skills through play, text messages to support the parenting process, radio programs to promote social and emotional learning in educational settings with lack of access to technology; home visits and virtual meetings to train caregivers; mobile applications with information guided by behavioral sciences; delivery of didactic materials, various training, surveys on initial education and the quality of services, among others.
Although different, all these innovations were made with the same purpose that unites everyone in the region: to ensure that children have the care they need and the opportunities to develop and reach their full potential. Each protagonist and action represent a valuable contribution in this set of interventions.
The Hub of the region’s innovations
We are aware of the persistence of equity gaps in access to services, levels of development, and quality of home environment in the region among children from different socioeconomic backgrounds. We know that much remains to be done to improve all children’s opportunities.
Driven by this challenge, a year ago, we created the Knowledge Hub in Early Childhood Development, a platform to make visible innovations produced in Latin America and the Caribbean and facilitate the exchange of relevant knowledge for our context. The Hub has an interactive map of the region with innovations in child development and multiple resources generated by different organizations, such as publications, measurement instruments, blogs, events, and webinars. At the same time, the Hub is an inclusive space where you can add your voice in favor of early childhood.
From the IDB and the Innovation Fund for Early Childhood Development, we invite you to this large table for discussions and to support children. Together, we continue to strengthen this great community that promotes early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our children need us together more than ever. Merry Christmas!
From the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund, with the coordination of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the support of the FEMSA Foundation, the María Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Porticus, and the Bernard van Foundation, we will continue working for the next few years with the strong intention of innovating to achieve the quality of ECD services.