Scientific and economic findings all agree that early childhood education is crucial in assuring the future of a nation. Science emphasizes the importance of early experiences in the formation of the brain architecture when the development of different domains is emerging (Shonkoff, 2009). Heckman, (2011) an economist, shares similar view that cognition and character building developed in the early years through parental involvement and early childhood education are crucial to the functioning and productivity of children in the future. What research indicates have implications in the policy formation to address the issues that science and economics present. These policies include support for quality early childhood education to realise the goal of preparing the children for the generation ahead. Although quality has been at the forefront of discussions to ensure efficiency of programs and assure the return of investments, it is yet to be fully realised. The International Step by Step Association (ISSA) envisions “a society where families, communities and professionals work together to empower each child to reach her or his full potential and embrace values of social justice and equity.” In its effort to work towards the realisation of their vision and mission, ISSA works with different social, political, and economic organisations globally. The ISSA website has a PUBLICATIONS section that includes studies, reports and books on issues that concern early childhood education and development. In this section, there are two major sources that indicate their participation in studies and discussions with international organizations. One of them is the consultation participated in by ISSA, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Bernard Van Leer Foundation in partnership with the World Bank and Brookings Institution that was held on September 2014 in Leiden, Netherlands. The consultation focused on the measuring and improving quality in early childhood environments in cognizance of the fact that the development of approaches to measuring quality has yet to be consistently utilized. Inclusive of the discussions are the new approaches to quality measurement and the recommendations to expand the global network. The discussions attended by different sectors seem a primal move to establish a common vision to improve the quality of early childhood education through a convergence of ideas and interests. The other resource in the PUBLICATIONS is the report by the European Commission on ECEC for children from disadvantaged backgrounds: findings from a European literature review and two case studies. The report indicates the importance of governance in ensuring that early childhood care and education is part of an integrated system of services that include employment, health, education and social services. As such, human and financial resources are crucial in implementing a quality early childhood care and education.
Indeed, early childhood development is not a miniscule section of the development. Almost, it comprises the whole range of development, and the different aspects of early childhood are ramified in sections such as health and nutrition, parental support in the form of employment, social services, environment and education. It, therefore, needs a wealth of human and financial resources invested by the different communities – in local, national, and international levels. The ramification of policies is an integration of social, political and economic thrusts where early childhood must be on top.
Heckman, J. (2011). The Economics of Inequality- The Value of Early Child Education. American Eductor. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ed.gov/early-learningRetrieved from file:///Users/pamelacastillo/Documents/Heckman%202011.pdf
ISSA (n.d.). Studies, Reports, Books. Retrieved from http://www.issa.nl/content/studies-reports-books
Shonkoff, J. P. (2009). Mobilizing science to revitalize early childhood policy. Issues in Science & Technology, 26(1), 79–85. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.