BEC teams up with RESULTS, AAP to advocate for Early Childhood Development

March 30, 2017

BEC’s Early Childhood Working Group, co-chaired by Katherine Merseth (RTI), Katy Anis (Save the Chidren), and Nathalie Logue (FHI 360), welcomed representatives from RESULTS and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to the March meeting. The groups shared ideas for cross-sector collaboration and agreed to team up for a day of advocacy on the Hill. On March 23rd, BEC members joined early childhood practitioners and advocates from health and humanitarian sectors to educate over 20 hill staffers on the importance of investment in early childhood development. The advocacy teams presented report language urging more emphasis on early childhood education in the USAID Education Strategy, based on the following rationale:

“Foundational to the success of children in primary school, quality pre-primary programs in low and middle income countries have been shown to improve children’s cognitive development and improve psychosocial support. Attending pre-primary education increases school attainment (number of years of schooling), which in turn increases adult employment and lifelong earnings. High-quality pre-primary programs that specifically target vulnerable groups have a high return on investment, reaching a rate of return of seven to 10 percent annually. USAID has set ambitious goals for improved reading outcomes and has made some progress towards those goals for primary school-aged students. Yet, many children are not reading successfully in early primary school, in no small part because of their lack of emergent literacy skills when they enter Grade 1. By providing effective support in the pre-primary years, including for emergent literacy skills that serve as the foundation of more complex reading and writing skills, U.S. government support for basic education programs can contribute to improved reading outcomes and other critical skills and abilities for young children.”

Representatives from BEC, USAID, US Global Fund for UNICEF, and EDC on the Hill to educatedMembers of Congress about Early Childhood Development.

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