Event     Young children in crisis: addressing the impact of COVID-19, climate change, and environmental degradation
Date 5 - 8 July 2022
Language     English

This ARNEC conference aimed to bring about strong awareness among policy makers and practitioners of the substantial threats that young children are facing due to the multiple crises affecting them, i.e., COVID-19, climate change and environmental degradation. The conference provided a platform to generate opportunities in the region around cross-sectoral and cross-country collaboration to strengthen ECD programmes as a whole and highlight context-specific ECD and multisectoral responses to localised impacts on young children and their communities.


· Raise awareness among policy makers and practitioners of the compounding impact of the crises of COVID-19, climate change and environmental degradation on the family wellbeing and young children’s development and learning across the lifespan.
· Strengthen advocacy efforts within the region on how ECD policies, programs, and services can be strengthened to respond to these three crises affecting young children and their families;
· Share knowledge, tools and innovative practices developed at the national, sub-national and community level to promote nurturing care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and environmental degradation affecting young children’s development; and
· Strengthen multi-sectoral partnerships and ECD investments among existing and potential stakeholders, amidst these multiple crises, to create nurturing and sustainable environments for young children.

Conference sub-themes

The conference sub-themes provided opportunities for presenters and participants to share evidence, policies, strategies, tools, and practical solutions that, in the context of the crises described above, can increase greater understanding and commitment to a more resilient ECD system in support of more nurturing and sustainable environments for young children.
· Subtheme 1: ECD and COVID-19
· Subtheme 2: ECD and climate change
· Subtheme 3: ECD and environmental degradation (outdoor and indoor air pollution, exposure to harmful toxins, lack of clean and protective play and recreational spaces for children)

Conference format

The conference was held virtually from July 5-8, 2022. It consisted of half-day and full day sessions. It included a combination of:
· Remarks from Ministers and/or Senior Government officials
· Plenary sessions with keynote speakers/resource persons covering the conference theme and sub-themes.
· Panel discussions (webinar-type) with regional experts and country representatives
· Workshops and virtual field visits

Conference proceedings and documentation

· Download the documentation report summarizing the conference proceedings here.
· Access video recordings of the presentations by keynote speakers, presenters and panellists here.
· Access the slide presentations here.
· Access the agenda here.