WHAT IS THE ECD INNOVATION FUND?
The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Innovation Fund is a partnership to finance, design, implement, and evaluate innovative and scalable approaches to improve the lives of children in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It targets children aged zero to five in the region’s most disadvantaged populations. Coordinated and managed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the ECD Innovation Fund is a partnership with FEMSA Foundation and Open Society Foundations at a regional level, and with Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal (FMCSV) in Brazil specifically.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
The ECD Innovation Fund is inspired by the principle that greater impact is made possible by working together. If you’re interested in learning more about the ECD Innovation Fund or finding out how to participate in this initiative, please contact Maria Fernanda Garcia Rincon from the IDB’s Office of Outreach and Partnerships at email@example.com.
Children born to low-income families in LAC fall behind their wealthier peers in the critical areas of language and cognition. This gap emerges in the first five years of life, the most important for brain growth and development, because many children lack the stimulation they need to develop to their full potential. As a result, these children begin school at a disadvantage, and these early gaps become harder and costlier to close as they get older. Scientific evidence from numerous disciplines reveals that this disadvantage has implications throughout the lifespan. Children with early deficits in cognition, language, nutrition, motor, and socioemotional development are less likely to learn in school, and more likely to engage in risky behaviors that result in early pregnancy, school dropout, and violence in adolescence.
Helping LAC children catch up in early childhood can help build brighter futures for their families, communities, economies, and societies at large. But to do so, the region must ramp up its investment in ECD, and partner with likeminded organizations in pursuit of this goal.
To learn more about the importance of taking action on early childhood development, check out the 2015 Development in the Americas publication titled “The Early Years: Child Well-being and the Role of Public Policy.”