UNICEF launched the National Parenting Education Programme in Pre-school Education in 2001 to provide an opportunity for parents to improve their child-rearing knowledge and skills. The programme was subsequently included in the National Strategy on Early Education. Employing the “cascade” approach, through training of trainers, the National Parenting Education Programme was implemented sequentially, from the training of master trainers to that of kindergarten teachers. UNICEF support included the monitoring of the overall processes for the Ministry of Education.
The number of kindergartens and primary schools included in the programme increased on a yearly basis. In 2006, the programme attained national coverage. Increasing the number of kindergartens in disadvantaged communities involved in the project was a key objective. Statistics show that over 70,000 parents have been trained in some 4,000 kindergartens and 370 schools. The programme has increased family knowledge and practices related to early care and stimulation, positive disciplining, and parent-child interaction, by introducing modern parenting methods into the pre-school education system. The programme is currently being evaluated, and preliminary findings show that there has been improved child development in families in which the parents attended parenting training.