Early childhood is an essential moment for a person’s cognitive, psychical, physical, linguistic and social development. Investing in this age group has significant gains in terms of improving health in adult age, economic productivity, behaviourial inclinations towards good citizenship and responsible parenthood.
Moreover, investing in the very first years of life also produces high economic yields and reduces the future costs of policies to limit damage in later development, such as dropping out of school or illnesses caused by inappropriate diet.
This is why the Compagnia di San Paolo has for some time invested in children aged from 0-6 in directly managed projects, supporting initiatives in the health, social and cultural areas with intense research activities. It is also why the three year programme ‘ZeroSei’ was set up : to build a coordinated framework in which to maximise effects and reach economies of scale, the final goal being to promote the wellbeing and harmonious development of children in Torino and Piedmont.
In Italy and Piedmont children are an ever rarer resource: in Torino alone births from 2009 to 2012 fell by 6.6% (Source: Office of Statistics of the City of Torino) and in 2013 birth figures were unvaried compared to the previous year.
The fall in births can be seen at a regional level too, with drops in birthrates of 5.2% between 2009 and 2012 ( ISTAT statistics – elaborated by Tuttitalia.it)
In Italy more than one in ten minors live in absolute poverty (10.3%), in Piedmont the figure is just under 8.1% ( Save the Children data), while minors who risk poverty in our country are 33.8% (Save the Children data)
Investments in educational services for children are falling in Torino and Piedmont, as in other parts of the country.
The Compagnia di San Paolo intends to use Programma ZeroSei to favour integration and coordination between services and offers of care and education for 0-6 year-olds in Torino, the surrounding areas and in Piedmont and projects already supported by the Compagnia for children in this specific age group in a more systematic, multidimensional, inclusive, innovative and integrated framework.
ZeroSei also aims to make institutions and actors in Torino and Piedmont more careful, aware and interested in the needs and potential of 0-6 year-olds.
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