BEC co-hosts multi-sector Early Childhood Development event on Capitol Hill


More than 100 people attended the event “Ensuring All Children Thrive: A Global Challenge" on Capitol Hill, July 19th. BEC's Early Childhood Development group was pleased to co-host the event, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, RESULTS, Catholic Relief Services, the Global Alliance for Children, Global Partners United, The Lego Group, The Lego Foundation, PATH, 1,000 Days, RTI, Save the Children, Sesame Workshop, and UNICEF USA.

The event began with a call to action by U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) followed by presentations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Bank Group, and UNICEF about evidence drawn from brain science, economics, and field programs about the need for early childhood development (ECD) to be prioritized in U.S. foreign assistance. Sesame Workshop spoke about their strategies for engaging children and families, including a chat with Zari, a 6-year-old Muppet girl from Afghanistan who just began to attend school and is very eager to learn how to read and write. The Lego Foundation brought evidence for play-based learning from the LEGO Foundation and activities for audience participation (pictured above). There were also interactive stations from Catholic Relief Services, LEGO, PATH, RTI, Save the Children, and Sesame Workshop, and child-friendly refreshments from Ice Cream Jubilee. Staff for Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) secured the room and went above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate the innovative format.

We have heard that the event infused new enthusiasm for global ECD on Capitol Hill and look forward to more opportunities to leverage partnerships for increased awareness of the importance of early childhood education and care. 

Above: Zari, the Afghan Muppet, on Capitol Hill July 19th, advocating for early childhood education.
Photo by Jim Stipe/Catholic Relief Services.