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Better monitoring in sight for the well-being of young children

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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Press release
Publication Date: 
1 Sep 2011

Text of the press release:

Some 30 early childhood experts from around the world [gathered] in UNESCO, Paris, on 12-13 September, to jointly develop a holistic index to improve Member States' ability to track progress towards quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) - the first of the Education for All (EFA) goals.

This Interagency Technical Committee to develop the Holistic Early Childhood Development Index (HECDI) was created in December 2010 and includes childhood development experts from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Un Kilo de Ayuda (Mexico), Save the Children, UNESCO, UNICEF, the WFP, the WHO and the World Bank.

The HECDI intends to overcome the existing fragmented perspectives on early childhood by adopting a holistic vision of monitoring children from the prenatal period to age eight. It will measure the following elements:

  • integrated aspects of ECCE policy and programming at a national and subnational level;
  • legal protection of children;
  • social protection and child welfare;
  • social-emotional and cognitive development;
  • access and quality of early childhood care and education;
  • health and nutrition.

The initiative emanates from the agreement of more than 100 member states and other early childhood stakeholders participating in the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (Moscow, September 2010) to address existing challenges in improving the well-being of young children. Specifically, the Moscow Framework for Action and Cooperation: Harnessing the Wealth of Nations calls upon UNESCO "to explore the development of an instrument capable of tracking progress towards EFA goal 1, with particular attention to quality and the holistic aspects of ECCE."