1 Jul 2010

Biggest return from investing in most disadvantaged children

10:35 am on 1 July 2010

A UNICEF educational advisor says research shows that investing in children who are most disadvantaged is the best use of early childhood funding.

The comment comes at the close of a seminar on early childhood development policy in Papua New Guinea's capital that's drawn participants from Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Timor Leste and Australia as well as Asia.

The three-day, UN-sponsored event aimed to assess and review national policies, initiate new regional partnerships and look at ways to improve teaching quality.

UNICEF's regional advisor on education for east Asia and the Pacific, Cliff Meyers, says national policies must have an equity focus.

"Because research shows investing in the most disadvantaged with early childhood support has the biggest return, It's the biggest bang for the buck when you're supporting the disadvantaged. Children who are from advantaged households, early childhood doesn't make or break their experience, they're pretty well-off already."

UNICEF'S Cliff Meyers.