Report April 1, 2015

Supporting Early Childhood: A Global Imperative, A Local Opportunity

From international CEOs to small-town shop owners, business leaders are making changes that help young children thrive, fulfill their potential, and become productive adults

Business leaders from every country have similar concerns: hiring skilled employees, finding customers to buy their goods and services, and operating in an environment that spurs innovation and economic vitality. There is overwhelming evidence that shows the root of all of these factors lies in children who have a good start that will prepare them for success in school and in life. For that reason, business executives across the globe—from international CEOs to shop owners in small towns—are taking action to create the conditions that will help young children thrive, fulfill their potential and become productive adults.

Early childhood development is the compelling economic, social and moral issue of our time. Investing in young children’s healthy development is a financial and social imperative for any country.
John Pepper, Former Chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble; Co­-Chair, ReadyNation CEO Task Force on Early Childhood

Companies are acting on their own initiative, because they see the benefit to their community and nation, and their bottom line. Along with examples from many countries, this brief describes four types of actions companies can take to

  • Benefit their communities
  • Support employees
  • Educate key decision­-makers
  • Influence public policy

To help companies decide among these many options, the brief ends with advice on choosing a course of action and designing a successful initiative.

A commitment to high-quality early childhood programs should be a global priority. Research shows that such programs can yield positive results across diverse cultures and nations.
Gideon Badagawa, Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation Uganda