Advocate for Every Child's Development | UNICEF USA

Congratulations! Congress has passed the Global Child Thrive Act!

Did you know over 80 percent 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, world leaders recognized the importance of ECD by incorporating it into the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting the potential of early childhood interventions to not only bolster an individual child's development, but also help spur economic growth and help end extreme poverty.

There are 250 million children under the age of 5 in low- and middle-income countries who risk falling short of their full potential due to deprivations and hardships that are known to impact healthy development. Passage of the Global Child Thrive Act strengthens the implementation of policies that advance early childhood development in all child-focused foreign assistance programs. This includes support for early learning and physical, cognitive, social and emotional development for children younger than age 8.

The new law also builds upon the U.S. Government's strategy for Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity by:

  • enabling an interagency taskforce to maximize coordination of ECD policies and partnerships across federal departments and agencies; and
  • supporting the design, implementation and evaluation of pilot projects in partner countries, with the goal of taking such projects to scale.

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.

When you speak up for children, legislators will listen. Visit the UNICEF USA Action Center to learn more.