“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
There is global consensus among development policy professionals and practitioners that Early Childhood Development (ECD) is key to a full and productive life, and to the progress of any nation. Investments in mothers and young children reduce every present risk of children dying under the age of 5 while at the same time giving them a better chance of doing well at school. The long-term impact of such investments is that they make children more likely to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Over the last three decades, there has been a proliferation of national policies and laws on early childhood development. Some of these policies are of a macro nature to be found in national vision statements, national development plans, national health, and education policies, among others. However, countries have also been developing very specific policies on early childhood development and learning.
Today, the challenge for policy makers, development policy practitioners and other stakeholder groups is not to worry about the absence of policy on ECD, but rather, the coherence and convergence of policies on Early Childhood Development. The scattered nature of national policies is a major drawback to policy implementation, policy monitoring and ECD policy advocacy. The lack of a central depository of national policies on ECD also limits the scope for learning and innovation.
This Interactive ECD Policy Map is part of the ongoing effort by the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies to develop a digital depository of national ECD policies and ECD related data in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Our goal is to promote exchange of ECD relevant knowledge, policies, and data in the region. The Map is designed to act as a resource for policy makers, ECD policy practitioners, scholars and researchers to enhancing implementation and monitoring of ECD policies in the region while promoting advocacy and learning.