An unprecedented number of young children in Sub-Saharan Africa are being adversely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, yet programs specifically designed to meet the developmental needs of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) from birth to age 8 are rare. This article summarizes the daunting array of challenges facing young OVC in Sub-Saharan Africa, and profiles research and action projects undertaken by four members of the inaugural graduate-level cohort of the ECDVU to promote high-quality developmentally appropriate ECD care for young OVC in their respective countries. The projects underscore the pressing need for community-based, national and international stakeholders to reach beyond the escalating immediate demands for survival-level support for these children— culturally appropriate ECD training and resources for both overburdened extended family and institution-based caregivers of young OVC must also be promoted as essential priorities. Higher levels of physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being and increased lifetime learning and earning are associated with good early childhood care; timely provision of integrated quality ECD training and care is urgently needed if today’s young OVC are to mature into productive and contributing members to Sub-Saharan African society in their adult years.
International Journal of Educational Policy, Research, and Practice, 5 (3)
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