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The Best Start: Inequality and opportunities in the first years of life

Educational poverty is defined as the deprivation of the ability to learn, experiment, develop and freely develop skills, talents and aspirations.

Early childhood represents a crucial period in the child's life, it is the moment when one begins to know and understand the world, oneself and others. Precisely for this reason, inequalities between children, with regard to the acquisition of skills and competences, are formed well before crossing the door of compulsory education. But these are not inevitable inequalities: attending the nursery, as well as spending quality time with their parents, proves to be a determining factor capable of reducing the gap.

The IDELA pilot study, conducted by Save the Children Italy in collaboration with the Centre for Child Health and Development, involved 653 children, and the same number of families, from ten italian cities, confirm that which numerous international studies have shown: that inequalities begin to develop in the very first years of life and well before the start of compulsory schooling.

This report discusses this notion of educational poverty and provides data from the IDELA pilot study to provide a picture of early childhood education in Italy. 

Published 2019-10-28