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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2015

The Early Years

Child Well-Being and the Role of Public Policy

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Addresses Baby Boomer generation concerns about shaping the next generation of leaders and provides policy suggestions to do so

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxii
  2. Raising Children: The Case for Government Intervention

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 1-23Open Access
  3. A Report Card on Early Childhood Development

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 25-54Open Access
  4. Family First

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 55-89Open Access
  5. Daycare Services: It’s All about Quality

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 91-119Open Access
  6. Early Schooling: Teachers Make the Difference

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 121-147Open Access
  7. More Bang for the Buck: Investing in Early Childhood Development

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 149-178Open Access
  8. Drawing Up an Institutional Architecture

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 179-201Open Access
  9. The Task at Hand: Anything but Child’s Play

    • Samuel Berlinski, Norbert Schady
    Pages 203-210Open Access
  10. Back Matter

    Pages 211-262

About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO license. 

The Early Years analyzes the development of Latin American and Caribbean children and makes a compelling case for government intervention in what is instinctively a family affair. Spending on effective programs for young children is an investment that, if done well, will have very high returns, while failure to implement such programs will lower the returns on the hefty investments being made in primary, secondary, and higher education. Policies for young children belong at the core of a country's development agenda, alongside policies to develop infrastructure and strengthen institutions. However, if the services provided (or funded) by governments are to benefit children, they must be substantially better than what is currently being delivered in the region. This book offers suggestions for improving public policy in this critical area.


  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Public Policy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Parenting
  • Daycare
  • Childcare
  • Pre-primary schooling
  • Early schooling
  • Cost-Benefit
  • Public Expenditure
  • Social Expenditure
  • Education
  • Health
  • Social Protection
  • Conditional Cash Transfers
  • Infant Mortality
  • Stunting
  • Language
  • childhood studies


"The state's recognition of human rights should be inescapable. Society and government share the responsibility of encouraging younger generations to reach their full potential. Children are the present but, above all, the future of a nation. It is they who will go on to become productive, healthy, and socially responsible citizens. Whether that actually happens depends on the decisions we make today." - Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas, President of Uruguay

"Child development remains a serious challenge for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Designing more effective policies and programs to promote the welfare of children is a top priority. The Early Years provides an authoritative and up-to-date review of the state of children in the region and the evidence on what works to improve child development. It will become the necessary reference for all those interested in the topic and seeking solid analysis to inform policy debates on child development." - Ariel Fiszbein, Former Chief Economist of the Human Development Network, The World Bank 

"This book is essential reading for anyone involved with early child development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and shows that IDB is now a major player in the field. The book covers a full range of topics from the theory of child development to governance and investment. It includes IDB's own very useful research and summarizes the state of early childhood development in the region, including the achievements and limitations. Their recommendations for future policy and programs are practical and evidence-based, and hopefully will be acted upon by governments. Clearly, there is still a long way to go to attain the goal of a fair start for all children." - Sally Grantham-McGregor, Professor of International Child Health, University College London, UK

Editors and Affiliations

  • Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK

    Samuel Berlinski

  • Princeton University, USA

    Norbert Schady

About the editors

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is an international institution created in 1959 to foster economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 23.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)