Business leaders support early childhood development

Sarah Brown and co-chairs of the Biz4ECD Task Force join business leaders in support of early childhood development

GBC-Education Executive Chair Sarah Brown joins Biz4ECD Task Force Co-Chairs Stephan Turnipseed, President Emeritus of LEGO Education, and Tokunboh Durosaro, Director of Oando Foundation, and more than 40 business leaders in signing an Open Letter from ReadyNation urging UN leaders to include early childhood development (ECD) as a priority in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Richard Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic, Inc., a member of the GBC-Education #smartinvestment Network, also signed the letter.
The letter was created and organized by ReadyNation, a business membership organization with more than 1,100 executives, including current and former Fortune 500 CEOs, advocating for public and private investments in early childhood to strengthen the global economy and workforce.
The UN Secretary General’s Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, released last December, included a specific target for quality ECD, care and pre-primary education as part of the Sustainable Development Goals for education. This target is meant to be consistent with and incorporated into the post-2015 development agenda for use by UN member states through 2030. Advocates for early childhood education stress the critical importance of interventions in the early childhood years to build a strong foundation for life, especially in terms of key physical, social and emotional skills.
Sarah Brown states: “I am pleased to join fellow business leaders in support of a sustainable development agenda that includes a target for all children to have access to quality early childhood education. Having a goal for ECD is critical to ensuring that all children have the necessary foundation to be successful in life.”
ReadyNation’s letter calls upon the United Nations to:

  • Ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • Prevent maternal deaths and those of children under five.
  • Stress the importance of providing sufficient public and private funds to support effective investments that prepare children for success in school and in life.
  • Ensure that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals includes the measurement, monitoring and tracking of births and child development through age five through coordinated efforts across health and education.

Stephan Turnipseed states: “I support urging the United Nations to keep the current target for early childhood development and education in the Sustainable Development Goal for education.  At LEGO Education, we support ECD educators through playful learning products and solutions including brick sets and curriculum to prepare children in their early years in terms of language and socio-emotional development.”
GBC-Education invests in early childhood development through the work of its Business for Early Childhood Development (Biz4ECD) Task Force, launched last fall. The Biz4ECD Task Force is co-convened with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution and brings together representatives from donor agencies, NGOs and business leaders with the goal of making a difference in the lives of children globally.
GBC-Education released a general statement on the post-2015 agenda in advance of the UN General Assembly meeting last September.
Photo © A World at School