Beny Steinmetz (Businessman and Philanthropist)

Investing in Early Childhood Development

Approximately a third of Israeli children are living below the poverty line and lack of opportunities, which can result in unfavorable social outcomes and put them at risk or disadvantage later on in life. The Agnes and Beny Steinmetz Foundation aims to reach these children during the critical stage of their formative years, and improve their prospects by implementing advanced and modern preventative strategies.

The Foundation achieves its goals by funding various initiatives, including community outreach programs that develop awareness of how vital early childhood development is, programs that provide professional training to people who work with children, like caregivers and teachers. 40,000 of children, 3500 professionals, and 7000 parents have already benefited from these initiatives.

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Why It Is Important

Extensive research has been done into early childhood, and findings indicate that:

  • When social gaps are created in early childhood it is very difficult to narrow these gaps in later years.
  • The most critical phase of a child’s life is in their formative years.
  • Investing in the early phase of children’s lives minimizes the need for overcoming deficiencies in later life.
  • Supporting children during early childhood saves governments and individuals short and long-term expenditure.

What the Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation Is Doing

The Foundation has created a working model in collaboration with local municipalities and cities in Israel. This partnership is geared towards strengthening and raising the quality of services that are available to young children, and appointing a professional responsible for delivering these services in every municipality. Regional early childhood specialists coordinate resource allocation, raise professional standards, and facilitate effective communication between different government offices involved with services for children, like education, health, and welfare.