Advocate for Early Childhood Development
Urge Congress to Strengthen Early Childhood Development in U.S. Foreign Assistance
Did you know over 80% of a baby’s brain is formed by the age of 3? The earliest years of life are the most critical for healthy brain development. Early childhood development (ECD) is the key to providing a fair start in life for every child. In 2015, recognizing its importance, for the first time ECD was included in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Early childhood interventions at the right time can bolster a child’s development, economic growth and help end extreme poverty.
Unfortunately, 250 million children under the age of 5 in low- and middle-income countries risk not reaching their development potential as a result of extreme poverty and stunting.
Introduced by Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Christopher Coons (D-DE), The Global Child Thrive Act (H.R. 4864 / S.2715) seeks to strengthen the implementation of policies that advance early childhood development in all child-focused foreign assistance programs, which includes early learning and physical, cognitive, social and emotional development for children younger than 8 years old. Building upon the U.S. Government's strategy for Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity, this legislation will enable an interagency taskforce to maximize coordination of ECD policies and partnerships across Federal departments and agencies. The Global Child Thrive Act also supports the design, implementation and evaluation of pilot projects in partner countries, with the goal of taking such projects to scale.
UNICEF and others have made incredible progress in saving child lives. But children deserve to thrive, not just survive. Through its leadership, the U.S. can play a critical role in ensuring every child can learn, grow and thrive in order to create a more prosperous world.
Great news! The House of Representatives unanimously passed the Global Child Thrive Act in September 2020! Now, call on your Senators to do the same and pass this bipartisan bill to strengthen early childhood development in U.S. foreign assistance.