This volume grew out of the conviction that children the world over who are disadvantaged by social and economic circumstances deserve a better chance at life. To address issues of social inequality, poverty, inadequate health care, gender disparities, and oppressive political systems in a global community, we must begin in the early childhood years. Beginnings matter. Mounting scientific evidence suggests that early childhood education (ECE) provides one of the best mechanisms for addressing the multi-sectorial needs of young children and for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Numerous reports by prominent scientists from diverse fields and international agencies (UNICEF, OECD, WHO) point to the benefits of even modest exposure to ECE in boosting children’s early social and cognitive development (Burger, 2010; Evans & Kosec, 2012; Heckman & Masterov, 2007; Schweinhart & Weikart, 2013; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). These benefits seem more pronounced for children with the least material resources (e.g., in Brazil; Evans & Kosec, 2012) and persist into adulthood (see Schweinhart & Weikart, 2013). Before we lay bare the contents of this volume and the myriad of ways in which cultural communities advance the cognitive, social, and cultural lives of children, it is first necessary to take a brief look at some of the harsh realities in the lives of children across the world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)