Read the forward by Dr. Clyde Hertzman
Human development is at the centre of the global agenda in the twenty-first century. Our planet faces challenges that can be met only by people who are tolerant, empathetic, insightful, and capable of lifelong learning. Research teaches us that the roots of these human attributes are in the earliest years. Whether children will develop into effective citizens of our century depends in part on the qualities of participation, stimulation, support, and nurturance in the environments where they spend their earliest years. We as a global community, therefore, have a strong interest in what goes on in the most intimate realms of home, family, and community. While families want to do what is best for their children, in today’s world they need help from society at all levels. The quest we face is how to build an effective alliance between the global and the intimate without the former destroying the latter.
The best answer is likely the one contained in this book: by tying early human development to community development. The vision is one in which senior governments create the policy frameworks and funding formulae for sustainability and local communities and their leaders make the actual decisions.
The authors are pioneers in this approach. Tracy was one of the first community-based intersectoral coordinators for early child development in British Columbia. She dealt with building community capacity; supporting and coordinating effective program and policy development; and monitoring early child development outcomes in collaboration with university researchers. Tammy brought her background in early childhood education into the picture, partnering with Tracy in leading this intersectoral community initiative.
Raising the Village is based on the insights they have gained from their special vantage point. It deserves broad dissemination, not only to community developers but also to those at senior levels in society who want to know how investments in the earliest stages of human development can support, and not undermine, local communities.
Clyde Hertzman, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FRSC
Director, Human Early Learning Partnership