Report March 1, 2017

Strengthening the Current and Future Workforce

European Business Leader Actions to Support Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

Business leaders across Europe recognize that the chances of a child growing to productive adulthood should not be determined by his/her early circumstances. Giving children an equitable chance to prosper will promote economic vitality not only for their countries, but also globally. Executives around the world—from multi-national CEOs to small-town shop owners—are starting to take action to create the conditions that will help young children thrive, fulfill their potential and become healthy, productive adults. Company leaders care about children’s futures and see the value to their companies, communities and nations.

ReadyNation supports international executives to take actions that improve the economy and workforce through effective investments in early childhood education and care (ECEC), defined here as the integrated health, social, and education system for children from birth to age five.

Nurturing kids’ brains can improve education, health, childcare, future productivity of the workforce and crime prevention all at once.
Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times

At the direction of five foundations—Jacobs Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, King Baudouin Foundation, and Compagnia di San Paolo—ReadyNation helped conceptualize and execute the first European Business Leader Forum on Early Childhood in October 2016, and also produced this report for the conference.

At a castle near Zurich, business leaders from several European countries gathered to discuss the ways in which the private sector can support ECEC for the benefit of the current and future workforce. Experts and business leaders discussed the business case for investing in early childhood, what companies and business organizations are already doing, and next steps to develop further interest and action on the part of their respective business communities.

Further Reading