On September 15, 2016, NABU representative participated in the webinar “The Importance of Early Interventions: How to Measure Child Development?” organized by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics. Other panelists included: Pia Britto, PhD (Global Chief and Senior Advisor, Early Childhood Development at UNICEF), Abbie Raikes (University of Nebraska), Ana Maria Nieto (Ministry of Education in Colombia).
The session highlighted the importance of Target 4.2 across SDG 4 and provided information on indicators that will be used at the global, regional, and country levels. One of the key issues discussed pertained to the definition of children “developmentally on track.” The panelists recognized the difficulties involved in measuring learning in early childhood due to the fact that much skills and contend are acquired by socialization rather than formal schooling. Thus, standardized tests are often problematic in capturing of what learned through this avenue.
Furthermore, a variety of other topics were discussed, including acquiring reliable data on children’s participation in quality early childhood care and education; children’s’ health, nutrition; and family environment. Participants stressed the importance of equity and quality with respect to target 4.2 -the needs to accommodate all children, including those, who are marginalized, with disabilities, ethno-linguistic differences, and, finally, greater incorporation of technology in achieving SDG 4.