Building a healthier next generation is not just about the physical health of a child. Research by the World Bank demonstrates that children who participate in well-conceived early childhood development (ECD) programs tend to be more successful in school, more competent socially and emotionally, and show greater verbal and intellectual development than children who are not enrolled in high quality programs.
GHLI has supported childhood development efforts at Yale since 2013, when we hosted a Forum for Change where academics, clinicians, policymakers and advocates from Brazil visited Yale with the goal of developing effective ECD programs for children in São Paulo. Working with colleagues at the Yale Child Study Center and the School of Nursing, the delegation developed a strategy to strengthen early childhood programs and incorporate lessons learned from programs led by Yale faculty.
Building on this success, GHLI sponsored “Child Health and Development in a Global Context,” a course which examined the role of complex forces such as poverty,migration,toxic stress,and access to early education and child care on a variety of heath and learning outcomes. It also covered themes innutrition and food security,family support, socialization and environment,and policy approaches to ECD. In the fall of 2016, the class was followed by the creation of a new course, “Child Health and Development in the Context of Sustainable Development,” led by Dr. Nicholas Alipui, a former senior official at UNICEF.
In addition to courses, Yale students have had the opportunity to engage in fellowships focused on research, policy analysis, and advocacy efforts related to ECD around the world.