Basma with children

Advocating for Young Children Affected by Crisis

Too often, the unique needs of young children and their families are overlooked in times of crisis. Despite clear evidence that early childhood development (ECD) programming has both immediate and long-term benefits for children and their communities—and that ECD programs can provide returns of up to 13% a year through improved education, health, and economic outcomes—these interventions remain dramatically underfunded around the world.  

We know that the task of supporting children and families affected by crisis far outstrips the capacity of any single organization or government, which is why Sesame Workshop harnesses the power of its beloved Muppets and trusted brand to promote broader support for early childhood development in crisis response globally.  Together with our partners, we are working to influence the way that governments, donors, nonprofits, and multilateral institutions like the United Nations identify and respond to the needs of young children in crises.  

To include all children, early childhood development must be a core element of the humanitarian sector’s response to crises. To translate that imperative into action, Sesame Workshop is advocating for larger and higher quality investments for young children in crisis contexts. We are working to:  

Raise Awareness

Through public events, targeted communication, and direct advocacy and engagement with decision-makers in the sector, we're working to make sure that children's rights and needs are at the forefront of humanitarian programming and financing decisions.

Increase Investments

Around the world, humanitarian needs are at their highest point in decades. Of the available humanitarian aid funding, less than 2% is dedicated to early childhood development. We are working to increase public, private, and multi-lateral investments for young children and caregivers in crisis contexts by providing evidence of the impact of ECD programming and concrete examples for its delivery in crisis contexts.  

Improve Quality

Reaching children with supportive, playful programming is a first step, but there is more work to be done to make those programs impactful, well-coordinated, and contextually appropriate for the families they serve. We are working to generate and share evidence about what works to bring early opportunities to children and caregivers living through crisis and conflict.

Sesame is proud to be a member of the following networks: The Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN), the Moving Minds Alliance (MMA), the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC), the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), and the Thrive Coalition.