Early Childhood Development: An Economic Perspective
Early Childhood Development (DIT) is an important investment in the future, both from the social and economic aspects. The encouragement of children’s development and support for them to reach their full potential results in benefits not only for children and their families but also for communities and global society as a whole. Children who have good development assessment form (แบบ ประเมิน พัฒนาการ which is the term in Thai) become successful and productive adults, with greater capacity to contribute to the economy and generate a circle of positive effects for future generations.
The early childhood development makes children and their families to benefit, in the short and long term, from better nutrition, health, and education provided by DIT programs. In describing these benefits, also the joint and interdependent dynamics (synergy) between health, nutrition, and cognitive stimulation. There are also negative effects for children and their families caused by the lack of interventions against ill-health, malnutrition, and poorly stimulating means. These negative effects also exert a joint and interdependent dynamic, and if we allow them to continue in force, they may harm several communities and countries; these situations are not static and can produce a negative downward spiral through several generations.
As stated in this guide, positive actions can have varied approaches; there are several options to promote early childhood development (พัฒนาการ เด็ก ปฐมวัย which is the term in Thai), and many countries, from different parts of the world, have used them. With will and commitment, this knowledge about DIT can be analyzed in more detail and explored to the fullest with advantageous consequences.
The will to specify actions is frequently related to the possibility of carrying them out. Thus, this chapter aims to confirm that DIT programs are an excellent economic investment and suggest a general conceptual framework for dealing with the economic aspects of early childhood development.