(See East Asia and Pacific.)
Early Childhood Development
The potential benefits from supporting early childhood development range from improved growth and development to better schooling outcomes to increased productivity in life. The World Bank supports early childhood development (ECD) through financing, policy advice, technical support, and partnership activities at the country, regional, and global levels.
In response to convincing evidence on the benefits of investing in young children, as well as demand from client countries, the World Bank is increasingly supporting ECD around the world. It does so through financing, policy advice, technical support, and partnership activities at the country, regional, and global levels.
ECD features prominently within the Bank's Education Strategy 2020, which sets the goal of Learning for All through three pillars: Invest Early, Invest Smartly, Invest for All. ECD is also a strong component of the Bank's health and nutrition and social protection strategies.
Between 2001 and 2013, the World Bank invested more than $3.3 billion ($1.9 billion supporting the poorest countries through IDA) in 273 ECD activities, including education, health, and social protection activities, which targeted pregnant women, young children, and their families.
The Bank uses a range of entry points to influence young children's development. They include investments in health care, hygiene, nutrition, and parental training to promote a child's physical, cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional development. Programs can target the pregnant woman, the child, the caregiver, or the family as a whole and can take place in many environments, including at home, at a preschool or child care center, at a health facility, or at a community center.