UNICEF in action
UNICEF’s vision for early childhood
UNICEF’s vision for early childhood
ALL young children in CEECIS will be developmentally ready for schooling, with a strong foundation for success in school and thereafter.
With this vision in mind, UNICEF identifies the following goals to drive efforts in early childhood:
Rather than creating new systems, UNICEF promotes the integration of early childhood principles and services into existing systems, so that these can work in alignment to support the “whole child” within the context of family and community.
Examples of UNICEF contributions to efforts promoting school readiness for ALL children.
Education reform for early learning - Armenia
UNICEF supports comprehensive approaches to improving early learning opportunities. Concerned that many children were not well-prepared for school, the government of Armenia designed a preschool education reform effort with support from UNICEF and World Bank funding. The strategy is designed to ensure school readiness through a comprehensive effort to improve early learning opportunities, with a special focus on poor children. Low-cost preschool models are being explored to expand availability, while curricula and preschool education standards work to ensure quality programmes. Parent and community education projects improve local knowledge of child development and participation in preschool programmes.
Health systems supporting holistic child development - Moldova
UNICEF supports health care systems in treating the “whole child”. A partnership between UNICEF, the government and other partners has improved prenatal and early health outcomes in Moldova. Medical training for doctors and nurses was enhanced to include support beyond clinical care, such as emotional support during pregnancy, counselling on nutrition and safe pregnancy, and parenting. Parenting education was also officially incorporated into national health services and into national health policy. In the first year after the reform, national rates of exclusive breastfeeding until age 3 rose from 0 to 55 per cent and awareness of dangers in pregnancy from 21 to 59 percent.
Strong policies for children and families - Georgia
UNICEF supports national policies and plans to ensure proper development for ALL children. A joint effort between the government of Georgia and UNICEF has resulted in a comprehensive plan for building strong national policies and systems to improve developmental opportunities for all of Georgia’s youngest citizens. Strategies include early childhood training for health workers and teachers, improved and expanded preschools, stronger parenting programmes and a Parliament Council for Early Childhood to ensure long-term political support. Importantly, special considerations are made for the most vulnerable children (those with disabilities, affected by HIV and AIDS, from ethnic minorities, in conflict zones, etc.). The plan was drafted by representatives from government, local civil society organisations, international organisations and universities.
Making local children’s books for children and families – The Kyrgyz Republic
UNICEF supports the first ever print materials for and about children in the Kyrgyz language. After a UNICEF-sponsored workshop on communication for behaviour change, a team in Kyrgyzstan initiated the development of the first children’s books in the Kyrgyz language. Creative local talent was identified and children participated in designing and revising the books. The process resulted in five beautifully-illustrated books for children and parents. Covering themes such as nutrition and hygiene, the books are learning materials for children and provide information positive care practices to families.
Updated 30 June, 2011
"Best start in life": Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UNICEF present documentary on breastfeeding. 11 June, 2011. More.
Goodwill Ambassador Edin Dzeko opens new early childhood development centre in Sarajevo. 6 June, 2011. More.
Hear me now is the new early childhood development campaign in Bulgaria. 1 June, 2011. More.