A focus on child development

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Science  11 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6193, pp. 121
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257424


By September 2014, the United Nations (UN) Open Working Group will present its final report on the Sustainable Development Goals to the UN Secretary General and President of the General Assembly, who will finalize these goals by September 2015. Because these goals (the successors to the Millennium Development Goals) will guide global action through 2030, it is unfortunate that early child development is not yet effectively addressed in this framework. Investing in child development is the foundation for improved health, economic, and social outcomes. Not getting the early years “right” is linked to violent behavior, depression, higher rates of noncommunicable disease, and lower wages, and it negatively affects a nation's gross domestic product. Unless early child development is addressed effectively in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, countries will be locked into poverty, and sustainable development will not be achieved.