News note

Chile: President Bachelet launched reform on early childhood

CHILE, 31 March 2006 - Yesterday  President  Michelle  Bachelet  announced  the  creation  of  a  Technical  Advisory  Council  to  reform the government’s early childhood  policies.   The  Council,  integrated  by  14  members  including  UNICEF,  is  part  of  President  Bachelet’s  goal to implement a new  social welfare system.  The  Council  will announce its proposal this coming June 30, following a  highly  collaborative,  participatory  process. "I have given the Council  specific  instructions  to  facilitate  a  widespread  process of citizen participation  throughout  the  development  of its proposals," President  Bachelet stated.

An  Inter-Ministerial  Committee  made  up  of  representatives  from the  Planning,   Education,   Health,  Labor,  Finance,  Women’s  Affairs  and  Presidency  Ministries  will  monitor  and support the development of the  proposal.

 The  President  was  joined  for  the  event  by Interior Minister Andrés  Zaldívar,  Presidency  Minister  Paulina  Veloso, Finance Minister Andrés  Velasco,  Planning  Minister  Clarisa  Hardy and Women’s Affairs Minister  Laura Albornoz and members of the Congress.

 During  the  act  Bachelet  explained  that  "my  goal,  by the end of my  administration, is to implement a system to protect children, in order to  offer  all  Chilean  children an equal chance to develop during the first  eight  years  of their lives, whatever their social origin, gender, place  of birth or family  situation."

For more information, please contact:

Francisca Palma
Oficial de Comunicaciones- Communications Officer
Telephone:      (56)-2 422-8800
Fax:                 (56)-2 422-8888
E-mail:             fpalma@unicef.org