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Why are issues of inequality in early childhood important and how do they impact on the experiences of children and adults in an early childhood setting?
Tackling poverty and inequalities is now embedded within the mandates of governments and organizations worldwide. UNICEF has been a leader on this, and concern about inequalities has also been picked up in the debates surrounding post 2015 development goals. While not explicitly framed as targeting inequalities, the High Level Panel report 2013 makes it a priority to ensure no one is ‘left behind’ (UN, 2013). The Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) went further by proposing a specific goal on inequalities (OWG, 2014), which has been retained within the UN Secretary General’s synthesis report on the SDGs, which is entitled “Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” (UNSG, 2014). To deliver on that central agenda requires engaging in the processes of how and why inequalities emerge; their impact on children’s lives and future prospects; the extent to which inequalities in individual capacities contribute to the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage; and the most promising entry points for policy and programming.