History is made! G20 prioritizes early childhood development

Mathias Urban, former co-chair of Eurochild Thematic Working Group on Early Years, led the development of policy brief that was officially adopted by the summit in Buenos Aires in September.

Photo credit: G20 Argentina 2018

G20 Prioritizes ECD: This is a historic moment for early childhood development (ECD). The G20 leaders in Buenos Aires, Argentina have signed in the beginning of December a declaration signalling prioritization for the early childhood development agenda (to work on political visibility for the ECD agenda by advocating for increased investment & political commitment to implementation of ECD programs at scale for all young children...). For the first time in the history of G20, ECD has been included - which is no small feat.

Having early childhood development mentioned twice in the 31 paragraph Buenos Aires Leaders' Declaration is a huge achievement and can be an important stepping stone to concrete action (much needed!). We owe much of this to the Argentinian government that made sure that education, and early childhood, was included in the G20 agenda for the first time in 2018.

Mathias Urban, former co-chair of Eurochild Thematic Working Group on Early Years, as member the T20 (global network of think tanks and research institutes to inform G20) led the development of the early childhood policy brief that was officially adopted by the summit in Buenos Aires in September.

The policy brief emphasizes the role of G20 governments in initiating and supporting whole-systems approaches to early childhood development, education and care: 'It takes more than a village. Effective early childhood development, education and care services require competent systems'.

The EU quality framework for ECEC is one of several international examples used to support the case for investing in ECD.

G20 2019 will be hosted by Japan.
Last week, the inception meeting of the 2019 T20 process took place in Tokyo. The result of this high level meeting was that Japan is going to maintain a clear focus on early childhood. ECD/ECEC will be one of five key policy topics for task force 1 'education as enabler to achieve the sustainable development goals'. Mathias will be working with an interdisciplinary and global group of experts to develop the early childhood policy brief for T20/G20 Japan in 2019.

The work they are doing will be introduced to the ET2020 Early Childhood Education and Care Working Group at one of the next meetings.