4 Cornerstones to Secure a Strong Foundation for Young Children
Following the release of the 2007 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, Strong Foundations, which focused on early childhood care and development, the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development worked with representatives from around the world to develop the 4 Cornerstones. These are key principles for early childhood care and development in order to provide a strong foundation for children. Below is a basic explanation for each of the cornerstones.
Cornerstone 1: Start at the beginning (age 0-3)
- integrate , coordinate, and improve services to all young children and their families
- promote more positive caregiver/child interaction, stimulating environments, good health and nutrition, and better child care
- provide universal access to family support programmes that address holistic child development.
Cornerstone 2: Provide new opportunities for discovery and learning (age 3-6)
- ensure access to at least two years of quality early childhood prior to formal school entry
- focus on the development of children's sense of self, their interactions with peers and adults, their confidence as learners, their language competence, and their critical thinking and problem solving skills
- provide information and support to parents and caregivers
- prioritise the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Cornerstone 3: Make schools ready for children (age 6-8)
- ensure a welcoming, appreciative, and inclusive school environment which facilitates the transition from the family or pre-school environment
- train and appoint capable teachers to lower primary grades who understand the development needs and learning styles of young children
- ensure smaller class sizes and a manageable teacher-child ratio in the early years of primary school.
Cornerstone 4: Address the development of policies on early childhood (across all age ranges)
- develop, implement, and evaluate policies and action plans in the context of a national vision and strategies for young children, expanded investment in their development, and stronger intersectoral coordination
- guarantee adequate resources by ensuring that early childhood is integral to national development policies and macroeconomic planning and budgeting
- address early childhood, across sectors, in all national and sub-national policies and plans
- invest now in ECD policies and programmes which will bring large future returns to individuals, families, communities, and nations.