The best start in life

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Every child deserves a healthy birth and quality early childhood development and education. We work to unlock the best start for every child.

175million children around the world are not enrolled in pre-primary education

90% of a child’s brain development takes place between birth and the age of five. This is why the five elements of nurturing care – health, nutrition, play, learning and protection – are so important for early childhood education and development.

Early years education and development can help identify a child’s learning needs early on, improve their socialisation and set them on the road to reaching their full potential. But children made vulnerable by conflict, emergency or disaster often miss out on opportunities to build a better future.

Research has shown that supporting early learning is the best investment a government can make: every $1 invested in early childhood care and development can lead to a return of as much as $17 for the most disadvantaged children.

That means the benefits of offering a child the best start in life are not just social but economic, too. Yet less than 2% of all early childhood development aid goes towards education. Theirworld wants to change that.

A progress check on donor funding for pre-primary education and early childhood development.


More on why this matters

An early years learning group in Kyaka II Refugee Camp, Uganda

We work at a global and local level to achieve the best start in life

6 Best Start in Life projects currently active

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Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory

Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory

Created in 2004, the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory works to improve understanding of what causes early labour, how we can develop treatments to prevent it and how we can better help newborn babies in those first crucial hours and days after birth.

Focus on Kenya

Focus on Kenya

We’re investing in research and working alongside local community partners to raise the profile of the importance of children’s early years across the political spectrum.

Edinburgh Birth Cohort

Edinburgh Birth Cohort

Funded by Theirworld, the Edinburgh Birth Cohort is a world-first study in which researchers from the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory monitor the progress of 400 premature babies from birth to adulthood.

Small Grants Programme

Small Grants Programme

Theirworld’s Small Grants Programme gives grants of up to £10,000 to registered charities and non-profits helping disadvantaged and overlooked young people in the UK and around the world.

Heal together
heal together greece

Heal together

In Greece, Theirworld works with Amna Refugee Healing Network, to help extend its Baytna Hubs programme to more partner organisations, using a sustainable approach to the delivery of early childhood education.

MyBestStart

MyBestStart

For the MyBestStart project Theirworld works with agencies on the ground in Lebanon to provide children, parents and teachers with tools and resources to provide valuable early childhood education.

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10 percent funding for pre primary

10 per cent Theirworld’s campaigning and advocacy work paved the way for UNICEF and other partners to set a new benchmark in early childhood education and development funding

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