Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

SDG Academy

The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development

SDG Academy via edX


What does a successful early childhood care program look like? How has a child’s brain developed at the age of 3? How does nutrition impact the future well-being of a child into adulthood?

Learn the answers to these questions and more in "The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development". With leading experts in the field – hailing from Harvard University, New York University and UNICEF, among other institutions – we’ll explore how neuroscience, sociology, anthropology and other studies have influenced our understanding of early childhood development.

This course is for:

  • Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in international development, teaching, nursing and medicine, and other fields who are interested in the key concepts and practices in early childhood development
  • Teachers, healthcare professionals and other practitioners interested in the societal and biological factors impacting the children they support
  • Sustainable development practitioners who want to understand the lifecycle of needs and support necessary to help children globally, including those who work for international aid organizations and nonprofits in the realms of poverty, nutrition and education


Module 1: Introduction

  • Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development
  • The State of the World's Children
  • How Brain Architecture Develops
  • The Impact of Adversity & Toxic Stress
  • Resilience & How to Foster It

Module 2: Child Development: Prenatal to Age 3

  • Development in Culture & Context
  • Physical Development
  • Cognitive Development and Perception
  • Language Development
  • Social Development
  • Emotional Development & Temperament

Module 3: Child Development: Ages 3 to 8

  • Physical Development
  • Cognitive Development & Executive Function
  • Language
  • Socio-emotional Development

Module 4: Tour of ECD Programs and Sectors Part I

  • Introduction to Multi-sector Aspects
  • Health Programs
  • Nutrition & Parenting Programs

Module 5: Tour of ECD Programs and Sectors Part 2

  • Social Protection Programs
  • Early Care & Education Programs
  • Child Protection Programs

Module 6: Communities and Situations of Conflict and Migration

  • Uganda Case Study
  • Community Based Programs
  • Conflict & Migration

Module 7: From Programs to Policies

  • How is Policy Created?
  • Quality, Governance & Sustainability
  • Financing ECD Policies

Module 8: The Future: Innovations and Growth

  • Innovation in ECD
  • Innovation from Around the World
  • Conclusion: The Future of ECD

Taught by

Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Jack Shonkoff, Aisha Yousafzai and Catherine Tamis-LeMonda


4.9 rating at edX based on 18 ratings

Start your review of The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.