Care for Child Development. Adapted for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region
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[Foreword]. Early childhood development (ECD) – including the physical (or motor), communication, cognitive and social - emotional capacities – is indivisible from the child survival, health and education agendas and represents one of the important stages for breaking the intergenerational cycles of poverty and for promoting sustainable development. Development during the early years lays the critical foundations for health, learning and behaviour across the life course… Investment in early childhood programmes is essential because ECD programmes and interventions can provide a “good and fair start” to children and help to modify distressing socio-economic and gender-related inequities. There is strong evidence regarding interventions that can address the causal factors and reduce the burden of poor child development… The health sector in countries has the capacity to play a unique role in the field of ECD because the most important window of opportunity for ensuring optimal development and preventing risk of long-term damage is from pregnancy through the first five years of life – especially from birth to three years of age... For some countries, ECD is currently not systematically incorporated into initiatives to promote and protect maternal and child health. Moreover, families are often not prepared or aware of the critical role they can play in promoting cognitive and socio-emotional development in the early years. To address this gap, WHO, PAHO/WHO and UNICEF have collaborated closely to strengthen their advocacy and technical support to regions and countries and have extended partnership to national leaders and governments, development agencies, researchers, academics, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, media and advocacy groups. We have also developed the present evidence-based set of materials to help international staff, national governments and their partners promote Care for Child Development within all relevant programme activities of the health sector, with the emerging involvement of education, social protection, rehabilitation and other ECD partners.The present document and accompanying package of materials were specifically prepared for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Region. They are adapted versions of the generic package developed and published by WHO/UNICEF in 2012. Modifications and additional content are based on inputs from regional experts in the early childhood development field and country professionals who participated in the workshops conducted in 2013-2015 in Panama, the Eastern Caribbean and Belize.
Category of PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019
Pan American Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund. Care for Child Development. Adapted for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Washington, D.C.: PAHO, UNICEF; 2017.
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