Early Childhood Care and Education: One of the Best Investments a Country Can Make
NADI, 4 December 2012 – Research shows that providing a high quality education for children before they turn five yields significant long-term benefits.
The meeting with education representatives from nine Pacific Island Countries elected Mr. Mataiasi Tuivanuayalewa, Senior Education Officer from Fiji’s Ministry of Education as the President of the ECCE Executive Board, Ms. Teimana Avanitele, Early Childhood Care and Education Officer from Tuvalu’s Ministry of Education as Vice-President and Ms. Upokoina Temaru, Early Childhood Education Advisor from Cook Islands Ministry of Education as representative to the Asia and Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC).
Fiji and Solomon Islands have made ECCE a priority and increased their commitment through the allocation of funds to support early childhood education teacher salaries in 2013.
UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) acts as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Care and Education (PRC4ECCE). The Council was established by the Pacific Islands Forum in 2011 under the Pacific Education Development Framework to enhance alignment between national priorities and ECCE initiatives by developing a regional information management platform that will include existing information, as well as provide direction for future research and program activities.
PRC4ECCE will provide direction to national and regional level initiatives in high quality, inclusive and equitable ECCE programs by enabling and promoting effective coordination, sharing, dissemination, and use of relevant research, resources, and documented best practices. The Council is preparing the “Guidelines for the Development of National Quality Frameworks for ECCE”, as a resource for countries to adapt and strengthen their ECCE planning and implementation.
The meeting was attended by Ministry of Education officials from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu as well as representatives from Save the Children –Australia and Fiji, World Vision-Australia, University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University, and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
The Council was made possible with the commitment and support of the Ministers’ of Education and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
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