Early Childhood Matters 2017

This edition of the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s journal showcases advances in early childhood development, bringing new ideas from around the world and exploring the challenges of scaling up.

Guest-edited by international early childhood expert Joan Lombardi, Early Childhood Matters 2017 has keynote articles from two global leaders for young children: Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank. A further 17 articles report on subjects ranging from neuroscience to financing to quality standards, with contributions from diverse countries including Niger, Australia, Romania and Bangladesh.


Moving towards scale: advancing early childhood development 2017

Joan Lombardi


Global impressions

Bold leadership – or as we see it, the ability to mobilise people to solve important problems collectively – is crucial to achieving results for young children. In this section, leaders from governments, international organisations and funders around the world talk about why they have chosen to put babies, toddlers and the people who care for them high on their agenda.


There are many pathways to scale – taking a successful small programme, and making it work for hundreds of thousands of children – but the challenges are complex. In this section, practitioners and policymakers explore issues such as coordinating across different parts of government, financing, recruiting and training large numbers of workers, testing and learning, and putting systems in place that deliver consistent, cost-effective quality.


Before good practices can be taken to scale, we first need good ideas. In this section, we focus on innovations – new or emerging programmes, policies or services which have the potential to meet the needs of young children and their caregivers in a wider range of contexts.

Issue Colophon


Social media package

Hoping this issue of Early Childhood Matters is a valuable resource for you, we encourage to share with your network. Below some infographics, and a more detailed guidelines with suggested messages and tweets.

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