Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Advancing early childhood development: from science to scale

An executive summary for The Lancet’s Series

WHO, UNICEF, World Bank Group

Book cover image.

Publication details

Number of pages: 8
Publication date: 2016
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish



The 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series highlights early childhood development at a time when it has been universally endorsed in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This Series considers new scientific evidence for interventions, building on the findings and recommendations of previous Lancet Series on child development (2007, 2011), and proposes pathways for implementation of early childhood development at scale. The Series emphasises “nurturing care”, especially of children below three years of age, and multi-sectoral interventions starting with health which can have wide reach to families and young children through health and nutrition.

Key messages from the Series

  • The burden and cost of inaction is high
  • Young children need nurturing care from the start
  • We must deliver multi-sector interventions, with health as a starting point for reaching the youngest children
  • We must strengthen government leadership to scale up what works.

Read the full Lancet Series

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