The early years in the life of an individual have been proven to be crucial for his/her development. Events in early years have long lasting consequences. Moreover, development in early years can be affected by policy interventions.  A good understanding of the process through which human capital, in its many dimensions, is developed is therefore crucial for the design of good policies. An understanding of the factors and constraints that affect household investment decisions in human capital is also key. And yet there are many unresolved issues. This conference brings together economists, child development specialists, policy makers, staff of international financial organizations to discuss the main issues of this research agenda and exchange experiences on several interventions.