Commonwealth experts and their international partners have been discussing the vital role that early childhood education plays in member countries achieving their full social and economic potential.
At a roundtable of educators, thought leaders and policy makers at the Commonwealth’s headquarters in London, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said member countries must ensure children have the opportunity to develop holistically, emotionally, socially, physically and cognitively which can lead to “substantial economic and social pay-offs”.
The Early Childhood Education brainstorming session is part of a series of initiatives by the Commonwealth to formulate a toolkit for member states. The toolkit will help enable education authorities to adopt a multi-sectoral approach across the areas of health, nutrition and child protection.
The Secretary-General said: “Evidence from neuroscience, economics and human development makes a strong case for why governments, communities and parents need to invest in quality early childhood education, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society.
“Here at the Commonwealth we recognise that, for many of our member countries, ensuring all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education, will remain a challenge if early intervention strategies are not deployed.”
The roundtable met on 28 March while a smaller sub-group convened the following day to plan for the development and piloting of the toolkit