Where do we stand?
The governments of Latin America and the Caribbean have taken major steps to expand the coverage of childcare and family support services and place child development high on the social policy agenda. Global and regional milestones like Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 and the Bogotá Declaration compel the region’s leaders to join forces and guarantee access to quality child development services.
However, Latin America still faces a long list of challenges in the area of childhood development. These include unequal access to child development services and disparities in the quality of the services provided. Evidence shows that low-quality services can actually harm the children who receive them. Thus, ensuring the quality of the services offered is an urgent task. The quality of child development services hinges on the quality of the relationship between the people providing ECD services and the families they serve , yet the processes for hiring, training, educating, supporting, motivating, and providing professional opportunities for ECD workers have been largely neglected.
Child development initiatives provide an opportunity to foster cooperation between multiple sectors, including health, education, and social protection. To efficiently manage public policy, to ensure the accountability and sustainability of resources invested in child development, countries must have periodic measurements of child development via national assessments, as well as data on access to services, and the quality of those services.