UNICEF in Romania, Aspen Institute Romania, Step by Step Center for Education and Professional Development and ReadyNation Romania organized the 4th edition of the conference The First 1000 Days for the Next 100 Years, in partnership with the Ministry of National Education of Romania. This year’s conference approached the theme of Early Childhood Education and Professionals of the Future and took the opportunity provided by the Presidency of Romania to the Council of the European Union to broaden the dialogue on this topic at the European Union level.

The conference took place in the context of research on brain development that reveals that most neural structures are formed by the age of five. Moreover, the PISA data from the OECD stats shows that participation in early quality education and the duration of participation determine learning outcomes at 15 years. Understanding the need for early quality education has generated successful models such as in the United States, the UK and the Nordic countries, models which are also applied in Romania.

The First 1000 Days for the Next 100 Years Conference: Early Childhood Education and Professionals of the Future aimed to facilitate the dialogue between specialists, business representatives, institutional decision-makers and civil society to identify concrete ways to promote smart investments in quality early childhood education, given the economic and social benefits it determines both on a short and long run, including for the labor market.