In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), while neonatal mortality has fallen, the number of children under five with developmental disability remains unchanged. The first thousand days are a critical window for brain development, when interventions are particularly effective. Early Childhood Interventions (ECI) are supported by scientific, human rights, human capital and programmatic rationales. In high-income countries, it is recommended that ECI for high-risk infants start in the neonatal period, and specialised interventions for children with developmental disabilities as early as three months of age; more data is needed on the timing of ECI in LMICs. Emerging evidence supports community-based ECI which focus on peer support, responsive caregiving and preventing secondary morbidities. A combination of individual home visits and community-based groups are likely the best strategy for the delivery of ECI, but more evidence is needed to form strong recommendations, particularly on the dosage of interventions. More data on content, impact and implementation of ECI in LMICs for high-risk infants are urgently needed. The development of ECI for high-risk groups will build on universal early child development best practice but will likely require tailoring to local contexts.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Nov 2019|
- Developmental disability
- Early childhood intervention
- Low-and middle-income countries