Past Program

Apr 15 - Apr 18, 2015

Early Childhood Development & Education

Series Overview

Salzburg Global Seminar, working with select international partners, is developing a multi-year program on the roles of states and families in meeting 21st century social investment needs. Intergenerational and gender justice and inclusion of marginalized populations are critical for social cohesion, but come under particular strain where economic systems are confronting a "double squeeze" - how to improve start of life opportunities for all while also caring and paying for aging societies. In many countries, the greatest burden falls on the family unit: government support, where provided, is inconsistently managed between various levels and branches and seldom reflects forward-thinking best practices. We believe that states and families' abilities to confront these challenges will shape 21st century economic systems, societal norms and individual well-being.

Why this topic and why now?

The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) propose an ambitious target for ECDE: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education. To meet this target, it is vital that we begin now to address key questions. What are equitable, quality and scalable practices in ECDE? How can these be rolled out in developing, emerging and developed country contexts?

For decades, Nobel prizewinner James Heckman and others have made the economic case for investments in ECDE as a critical component for national prosperity. As a result, a notable shift has occurred in recent years from debates about whether to invest in ECDE programs, and is now more focused on the questions of how to invest, where to invest, and how to bring quality ECDE programs to scale. The inclusion of universal ECDE programs in the SDG's is a key indicator of this process.

In the context of ECDE's inclusion in the 2015 SDG's, Salzburg Global Seminar proposes to launch a multi-year intervention with select international partners to coordinate and support an integrated early childhood policy and practice agenda, particularly for disadvantaged populations. It aims to augment international efforts to achieve scale through the best available evidence of what is required to achieve access, quality, and scale.

Salzburg Statement

Quality Early Childhood Development and Education for All Girls and Boys

Download the Salzburg Global Statement in full

Program goals and outcomes

This program produces a strategic roadmap towards supporting universal quality access, as highlighted by the SDGs, in the form of a Salzburg Statement- a synthesis of agreed-upon guiding principles, priority actions, and proposals for urgent consideration. The Salzburg Statement is based on group dialogue and will be fed into subsequent international working groups.


Gabriela Aratangy Pluciennik
Program Coordinator, Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal Foundation (FMCSV), Brazil
Harry Ballan
Partner, Davis Polk & Wardell LLP; Director, Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, New York, New York, United States
Martha Buell
Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies; Director, Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, University of Delaware, United States
Charlotte Cole
Executive Director, Blue Butterfly Collaborative, United States
Erika Dähler Meyer
Co-Director, a:primo, Switzerland
Martha A. Darling
Education Policy Consultant, USA
Nicholas Dowdall
Rhodes Scholar,University of Oxford, South Africa
Liana Ghent
Executive Director, International Step by Step Association (ISSA), The Netherlands
Ayelet Giladi
Founder and Director of Voice of Child Association (VOCA), Israel
Rena Hallam
Interim Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies,University of Delaware,United States
David Harrison
CEO, The DG Murray Trust, South Africa
David Hawker
Policy Advisor to iPIPS & Honorary Professor, Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University,United Kingdom
Steven Hicks
Steven Hicks, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, United States
Arthur Ivatts
Senior Consultant, Open Society Foundations, UK
Chae Jeong Lee
Policy Analyst, National Assembly Budget Office, Korea
Diana Leyva
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Davidson College, United States
Joan Lombardi
Director, The Children's Project, Washington D.C; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
John Maluccio
Associate Professor of Economics, Middlebury College, United States
Dakota McCoy
Rhodes Scholar, University of Oxford, United States
Catherine Millett
Senior Research Scientist, ETS Policy Evaluation & Research Center, United States
Nora Milotay
Policy Officer, DG Education and Culture, School Policy Unit, European Commission, Belgium
Anne Mosle
former Vice President for Programs , The W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Vice President and Executive Director, The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC
Paul Murray
Program Executive, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Ireland
Elizabeth Murray
Rhodes Scholar, University of Oxford, Australia
Michael Nettles
Senior Vice President and Edmund W. Gordon Chair of Policy Evaluation and Research, Educational Testing Service (ETS), USA
Patrick Newell
Founding Director, Tokyo International School, Japan
Ann O'Leary
Co-founder, The Opportunity Institute,United States
Lynette Okengo
Executive Director, WanaWetu, Kenya
Sandipan Paul
International Consultant, UNICEF, Maldives
Marvin Pires
Program Manager, De Verre Bergen Foundation, Netherlands
Hala Samrani
Advisor, Dubai Government, United Arab Emirates
Saktibrata Sen
Content Head, North India, Pratham Education Foundation, India
Sheldon Shaeffer
Member of the Board of Directors, Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), Thailand
Sonja Starling
Executive Director Innovation Edge and Acting Program Leader Ilifa Labantwana,South Africa
Carla Thompson Payton
Vice President for Program Strategy,W.K. Kellogg Foundation, United States
Christer Tofténius
Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden
Aline Villette
Sara Watson
Director, ReadyNation, United States
Joanna Wright-Serra
Vice President, Board of the Centro Medico ABC, Mexico
Hirokazu Yoshikawa
Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, United States