Financial Times special report on early childhood development

Published January 26, 2018

As the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos discusses how “human imagination and innovation” increasingly drive economies, Anne-Marie Slaughter cogently makes the case in a Financial Times op-ed for investing more in early childhood to develop these skills.

To coincide with decision-makers meeting in Davos, the Bernard van Leer Foundation has this week supported the FT to produce a special report on early childhood development comprising eight articles:

  • “We need to focus on the under-fours to tackle inequality in Brazil” – Lucinda Elliott writes about how the Criança Feliz home visiting programme is supporting parents in poor districts.
  • Jude Webber deep-dives into how an ancient Mayan method for learning maths is helping to teach critical thinking skills to young children in Mexico.
  • Rebecca Collard reports from Beirut on how the prolonged high stress levels from growing up in a war zone can be lasting and toxic for refugee children.
  • Simon Kuper summarises four things Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman has learned from his research on interventions to improve parenting.
  • Clive Cookson explains how researchers are scanning babies’ brains, before and after birth, to gain new knowledge on neurological conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy.
  • Joseph Leahy reports from Amazonia on the childhood obesity epidemic that is resulting from families switching from fruit and vegetables to cheaper processed foods.
  • Amy Kazmin’s dispatch from New Delhi takes a more hopeful look at malnutrition, showing how a national campaign in India is tackling stunting and anaemia.
  • Neil Munshi reports from Philadelphia on an intervention to help parents teach children problem-solving skills and creativity by installing games in urban spaces.