UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), General comment No. 7 (2006): Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood, 20 September 2006 is a key reference document, with sections on: definition of early childhood and key principles; the responsibilities of government and roles of parents; rights-based multi-sectoral services; children in need of special protection; and capacity building. General Comment 7 is also a valuable reminder that investing in early childhood development (ECD) is about every child’s right to survival, identity, development, education, protection and not just about investing in human capital for returns to society.

Integrated early childhood development should address (i) health and nutrition (ii) stimulation and early learning (iii) security (iv) responsive and supportive caregiving and (v) safety and protection.