Early Childhood Care And Education: 3-Year-Old Champa Begins Early
By Sonia Sarkar
Champa is one of the 200 participants, including school children and teachers, attending the Global Action Week 2012 on ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ (ECCE) held here at the National Balbhawan last week.
Supported by UNESCO and UNICEF, in collaboration with government bodies, civil society organizations, and other partners, the central theme for the Global Action Week 2012 is Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and its critical role in India’s overall development.
Laughter rings from the adjoining hall where groups of children all aged two to six years, sit on the floor and watch puppets dancing to Rajasthani folk songs. Others are engaged in crafting paper flowers, storytelling, bird masks and finger painting.
The teachers and NGO partners accompanying Champa, have been trained in the multiple benefits of ECCE. They are aware that for children it means improved readiness, learning, completion and education efficiency. It nurtures healthy children and reduces later reliance on the health care system and special support. Worldwide, ECCE has been recognized for yielding the greatest investment returns than any other levels of education and training.
In his message, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Dr. Shreeranjan stressed that a healthy start and the holistic development of all the children needs full support from all the stakeholders.
“We need to establish collaborative, innovative and lasting partnerships to ensure that children have positive experiences and achieve the optimum levels of health, nutrition, early care, stimulation and the foundation is laid for lifelong learning,” said Dr. Shreeranjan.
In his concluding remarks, David Mcloughlin, a.i Representative for UNICEF India says ”Ensuring free and quality pre-school education will greatly enhance children’s readiness for schooling and contribute to India’s ability to achieve the Right to Education objectives in the coming years”.