On June 27, 2013, the Brookings Global-CERES Economic and Social Policy in Latin America Initiative (ESPLA) and the Center for Universal Education (CUE) co-hosted a private event on education in Latin America. The event focused on methods for reaching the most marginalized students, with specific attention paid toward early childhood development (ECD) in the region. Experts from a variety of public and private sector institutions discussed the multiple benefits of early childhood interventions on lifespan development. However, attempts to scale up ECD interventions face many challenges, including institutional coordination, quality of services, ability to measure outcomes and financing.
The group discussed the possibility of private sector engagement with ECD, particularly as a strategy to scale services to the poor where governments are not active. Additionally, the conversation covered engagement with corporate groups to disseminate information on the importance of ECD, as well as corporate involvement in fostering ECD activities. The group also discussed public sector organizations and programs in Latin America that use innovative and evidence-based approaches to ECD, such as LAC Reads, Plan Nacer, Fundación Integra and several conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs.
The event concluded with a note on the significant contributions that public and private actors make to ECD programs and early childhood intervention strategies in the region. Additional discussion on this topic will be useful, as it is critical to gain political visibility and widespread support for further initiatives.