Cause

Giving every child the best start in life.

Every mother and baby must have access to quality pre-natal care and every child should have nurturing care and development from birth to age five.

Ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.

From talking to global leaders in world government to working with communities worldwide, we're campaigning to raise awareness that young children, toddlers and babies all over the world are not getting the best start in life.

What is the issue?

By the time a child reaches five years old, 90% of their brain has already developed – which means the progression from birth to school is the most important time of their lives.

Early years care is vital for every child. But around the world children from poorer and marginalised households are unable to access the support and care they need and are put at a disadvantage. We're campaigning to make sure that every child gets the best start in life.

Even though the importance of providing nurturing care – including health, nutrition, play, learning and protection – has been thoroughly proven, investment in the 0 to 5 age group is still far too small.

How are we fighting for this cause?

We're calling on those global leaders to prioritise early childhood development. We're making sure that the building blocks are in place for children to succeed in their education and beyond.

Theirworld is producing research papers to raise awareness on early childhood development. It has also called for world leaders by the end of 2017 to allocate the funds needed to establish quality programmes that will give every child the best start in life.

Our work began 14 years ago with the creation of a fund to support small projects in the UK, enabling dedicated health professionals and scientists to pioneer their ideas to help newborns and young children, and to support mentoring for young people. Since then our work has grown to a global scale with the expansion of our research to create the award-winning Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory that investigates pregnancy and premature birth problems, and the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort that monitors the lives of a number of children over a period of years.

What is the Edinburgh Birth Cohort?

Since then our work has grown to a global scale with the expansion of our research to create the award-winning Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory that investigates pregnancy and premature birth problems, and the Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort that monitors the lives of a number of children over a period of years.

The birth cohort is a world first in investigating the long-term effects of preterm birth on infants and we are excited to make this new commitment to advancing the field of research into perinatal brain injury.

The study follows 400 young people from infancy to adulthood and will help to reach a broader understanding of developmental problems as a result of being born too early or too small. Over the coming years, it also aims to develop therapeutics and strategies to help children and young people who have problems access the help and support they need.

  • Act
  • Explainers

    Child nutrition (early childhood development)

    An explanation of child nutrition and how it contributes to allowing children's brains and bodies to develop properly.

    Childcare (early childhood development)

    Learn about why childcare is such an important issue. it affects families and communities across the globe, especially in poor or disadvantaged communities, preventing children from reaching their full potential in education and in life.

    Early childhood development

    Learn about how early childhood development supports children’s nurturing care and development from birth to age five- and how Theirworld is campaigning for urgent action to make sure all children have access to the full range of nurturing care.

    Health and education convergence

    Learn about health and education convergence, where the idea came from and how it works in practice.

    Learning through play (early childhood development)

    Find out about the importance of learning through play and the serious issues if a young child is not given enough opportunity to play.

    Safe pregnancy and birth

    Learn about the importance of safe pregnancy and childbirth for women in the poorest nations - and how without it death and disadvantage are likely outcomes.

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean for Theirworld as a set of global commitments to end poverty, protect the planet and promote peace.

    Related Campaigns

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    campaigns
    #5for5 campaign

    #5for5 campaign

    90% of brain development happens before the age of five. Help us raise awareness of early childhood development and put pressure on world leaders to make sure all children have access to quality care including nutrition, health, learning, play and protection.
    campaigns
    Oh baby! Comedians back our #5for5 campaign

    Oh baby! Comedians back our #5for5 campaign

    #5for5, Theirworld’s global campaign is aiming to change how the the world thinks about early childhood development, but we need your help! Watch the films, share with your friends and join the movement - help stand up for kids who haven’t mastered standing.

    Related Projects

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    projects
    Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory

    Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory

    Researchers at the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory are doing vital work to discover more about the causes of babies being born early and finding better ways to care for them. The aim is to minimise some of the life-threatening complications that can arise for mothers and babies.
    projects
    Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort

    Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort

    This project is a research programme which studies the long-term effects of early birth. The study includes social, educational and clinical information. It is the first research initiative in the world to investigate perinatal brain injury this comprehensively.​