Investment in policies, programs and practices optimising children’s early brain development has lifelong benefits for individuals, families and society. While decades of child development research and large-scale longitudinal studies have shown this to be true, more recent advances in the neurodevelopmental sciences and epigenetics highlight just how important this is to be better reflected in the policy priorities of governments and the design and delivery of child health, family and early childhood education services. Since the mapping of the human genome and the more recent development of epigenetic science, it is now understood that the psycho-social and physical environments of child rearing have a far greater influence on the way genes are expressed than previously realised. This is especially the case in the early years of life, when the rate of brain development is greater than it is at any other time in a person’s life. This chapter discusses how these new understandings of human development are being acted upon by governments and international agencies, such as the WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank. This includes discussion of the long-term benefits which early child development and care (ECDC) programs can have on children’s school learning and their health and wellbeing later in life.
|Title of host publication||Challenges in Global Learning|
|Subtitle of host publication||Dealing with Education Issues from an International Perspective|
|Editors||Ania Lian, Peter Kell, Paul Black, Koo Yew Lie|
|Place of Publication||UK|
|Publisher||Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|