Early childhood is the foundation of future life. Optimum early childhood development can ensure a healthy & prosperous future generation with better performance and less crime. Hence, today, policy-makers all across the globe are focusing on Early Childhood Development as a significantly cost-effective intervention to improve health and well-being of the next generations.
Maximum brain development occurs in the first 3 years of life, starting right from conception. 80% of brain development occurs during this period, with neuronal connections developing at an exponential rate of 1000/second and more. It is dependent on the child’s genetic constitution, her health and nutrition as well as her environment. Genes provide the blueprint, on which environment shapes the development. Psychomotor stimulation, proper parenting and emotional support augment development while neglect/ abuse, poverty, war / famine, alcohol/ substance abuse and maternal depression are common deterrents.
To promote child development stakeholders at all levels, including parents, care-givers, primary healthcare providers, primary physicians, pediatricians, educators, all should have the awareness, knowledge and skill about early childhood development. It requires a solid knowledge of the neuro-biology of brain development and the normal course of a child’s development, an understanding of the modifying factors and acquisition of the right skills for early intervention, for effective promotion of ECD. Unfortunately, developmental pediatrics is still a less explored sub-speciality of pediatrics. Discussions on the topic of early childhood development in scientific journals and related research will evoke an interest among Pediatricians. It is through them that the message will percolate among other stake-holders.
Hence, we propose to bring out a special issue where various aspects of this very relevant topic can be discussed in details.