Children, Youth and Play

Why we work with children, youth and integrate play


Early care and support for children profoundly impact their overall development and benefit society. The World Bank estimates that 250 million children under the age of five live in poverty and lack health care, nutrition, learning, early stimulation and responsive care. Ultimately, 250 million children do not reach their full developmental potential globally due to poverty and lack of vital services early in life.


Early childhood development (ECD) programmes support children's growth and development from birth to age five. ECD programmes include nurturing care, health care, nutrition, play, learning, and protection. The interventions address a growing child’s cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical developmental domains. At Early Care International, we are committed to creating accessible, equitable and quality ECD programmes and services for all children.


Youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years comprise a huge proportion of the population in developing countries. While young people aspire to participate fully in society, too many youths are unable to do so because they have limited opportunities for education, training, viable employment and health and social services etc. According to the United Nations Population Fund, poor literacy among youths in developing countries means that around 175 million young people cannot read a full sentence. Moreover, within the group of young people aged 15-24 years, around 500 million live on less than 2$ a day and over 73 million are unemployed. The unprecedented number of youth in developing countries represent agents for social change and socio-economic development while they are also a major human resource. Thus, Early Care International collaborates with the youth and our local partners in planning intervention programmes and projects to improve the conditions and opportunities that allow youth to fully take part in society. 

Play, children and youth

Early Care International actively works with stakeholders to integrate play into programmes and projects targeted toward children and youth. We believe that play is fundamental to enhancing the holistic development of children and youth. Services and programmes that are targeted toward children and youth could be robust and natural if these integrate play. In Early Care International we work to integrate play into programmes and services for children and youth through a contextually relevant and responsive approach.