Aprile 2014 - Volume XXXIII - numero 4
Centro per la Salute del Bambino - onlus, Trieste
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Key words: Child development, Early years, Early interventions
The rationale for early interventions aimed at supporting child development is five-folded: the particular plasticity of the developing brain, the early development of competences depending on adult/child interactions, the long term effect of early experiences, the greater effects on disadvantaged children and consequently the reduction of sociocultural gaps, the high social and economic return of investment in the early years. Although optimal child development should be the aim of whole-of-government policies and civil society commitment, the health sector may play a crucial role in contributing to child development through a series of evidence based approaches and best practices that can be implemented by services as well as by individual health professionals. In spite of some excellent local experiences and ongoing programmes, Italy as a whole is lagging behind most other European countries with respect to ECD investments. Stronger commitments in this area should be seen as crucial for the future of our children as well as for the social and economic development of the country.
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