Despite mounds of evidence proving how critical a child’s first years are in his development and learning, the United States is still far behind most other developed countries in the way it supports families to ensure toddlers get all they need. This is especially true for families that struggle economically, who simply can’t afford to take unpaid leave from work and who often have difficulty finding high-quality child care.
That’s why we were honored to work with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on a screening and panel discussion of a very important film: “The Beginning of Life.” (You can stream the film on Netflix.)
The film is one aspect of UNICEF’s newly launched Early Childhood Development (ECD) Campaign to increase global understanding and engagement around the importance of nutrition, stimulation, protection, and love in the earliest years of life, and to grow investment in that work. The organization’s goal, according to its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is that all governments should “ensure all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and preprimary education, so that they are ready for primary education.”
Moria Cappio, our vice president of Early Childhood programs, moderated a panel that featured Caitlin McCurn, with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF; Stephanie Gendell from Citizens' Committee for Children; and James Matison of the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society. Among the many things they have in common is a steadfast commitment to advocate for stronger early childhood development programs, here in New York City and across the nation.