Win-Win Partnerships between Business & Child Development

Giving children a good start benefits business, the local economy, and the nation.

The period of childhood is a time of unparalleled brain development, when positive support and experiences can profoundly influence a child’s success in school, work, and life. During this time, the child’s brain builds the foundation for the academic, social, and emotional skills necessary for productive adulthood.

Our Center for Business Champions supports business executives and childhood development leaders around the world in building effective and lasting partnerships. Business leaders can play a significant role in ensuring healthy, happy childhoods for children today while meeting the workforce needs of tomorrow.

Giving Children a Strong Start

As compelling – and often unexpected – champions, business leaders can dramatically increase attention to and resources for giving children a strong start in life. For this reason, business leaders around the globe are considering how they can use their wide range of assets to promote the well-being of their future community members, employees, and workforce.

This can be a vital part of their growing attention to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts.  While many companies are recognizing that attending to ESG is good for their bottom line, children often get less attention than other issues. However, succeeding at any issue – climate change, health care, innovation – requires a skilled citizenry.  Including children in ESG programs will result in positive short- and long-term impacts on employees, companies, communities, and nations.

Child development and business leaders often face challenges in building lasting and effective partnerships. However, demonstrated success shows that with the right support, both groups can work together to build networks of business champions who will use their array of resources – political, reputational, organizational, financial – to support current workforce productivity and put their country’s children on the path to success in school and in life.

The Importance of Business Champions

By building partnerships with business to advance early childhood development worldwide, we’re building a brighter future for everyone.

Creating Change

“Private Sector Foundation Uganda — including our late CEO — and I worked closely with Dr. Watson to create Early Steps Program – Phase II – Mobilizing Business Champions for Children to engage our business members and policymakers in supporting early childhood.

She was a tremendous collaborator in helping shape our message to convey the business case for investing in young children. We appreciated her visits to plan with us and speak to our business members. She respected our expertise while also bringing us information and ideas from around the world.

Early Steps had a big impact, helping to put early childhood into our national plan for the first time and getting businesses to be more family-friendly, culminating into propositions to improve early childhood through private sector solutions. I hope other countries will work with Dr. Watson to create their own business champions!”

– Godwin Othieno, former Deputy Program Manager, Private Sector Foundation Uganda

Building Partnership

“We were delighted to work with Dr. Sara Watson in launching ReadyNation Ro, a partner organization to ReadyNation International. Our mission is “the promotion of coherent and adequate public policies and innovative solutions, addressed to the community of business people and decision-makers, which will generate effective investments in the development of quality, inclusive early education services in Romania.

Working closely with Romanian Business Leaders and Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, the most active business organizations in Romania, and other partners, from public and private sector as well, we carried out a number of successful activities to communicate the business case for early childhood and build business support. This type of collaboration between the business and early childhood sectors had never been attempted in Romania, and based on our experience, we are sure other countries can do this as well.

While our initial plans were derailed by the COVID pandemic, this work can have a big impact and we are eager to re-start.”

– Carmen Lica, Executive Director Centrul Step by Step; Board of Directors, International Step-by-Step Association; Board of Directors, ReadyNation Ro

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