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An alliance for a better childhood

The national alliance on early childhood development launched in Georgia

© UNICEF/GEO-2004/00043/Giacomo Pirozzi
Ann, 9 months with her mother at the UNICEF supported ECD Centre, Children’s Policlinic #10 in Tbilisi, Georgia
TBILISI, 22 March 2007 - The National Alliance on early childhood development is being launched today at the Parliament of Georgia by the Committee on Health and Social Affairs in collaboration with UNICEF. The 2006–2009 draft National Strategic Action Plan for Early Childhood Development will also be presented during the launch.

The alliance aims at ensuring that all children of Georgia (0-six years of age) reach their full potential in cognitive and socio-emotional development for school readiness and have access to their basic rights.

“The creation of the National Alliance on early childhood development is an important step forward towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals for young child survival and development,” says Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “It is a well known fact that early childhood establishes the foundation for future physical and mental health, learning, and behavior of the individual. Moreover, to meet the intellectual and social development needs of young children is to ‘invest in future.” Such an investment in early years is extremely cost-effective as well. According to the scientific research, approximately seven to eight USD will be returned on every dollar invested in early childhood.”

The alliance will function through the thematic working groups composed of the national and international professionals and will work on the following: undertake the respective policy reforms, mainstream early childhood development principles into the existing systems and services and enhance the respective knowledge and capacity of the parents and professionals.

In particular, the thematic groups will work on mainstreaming the early childhood development principles in national policies into the health and pre-school education sectors, into the Academia, and in existing education programmes for parents and families.

The Alliance itself consists of the representatives of the Parliament of Georgia, Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Science, Academia, Professional Associations, local NGOs and International Development Partners.

“UNICEF in Georgia will continue to support the efforts of the Alliance to finalise the Strategic Action Plan and to protect the early childhood rights of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups,” Giovanna Barberis says.

The National Alliance on early childhood development was established upon the decision of the Health and Social Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Georgia on 26 January 2007 as a follow up to the National Consultation on Early Childhood Development held in December 2006 in Gudauri, Georgia in partnership with UNICEF and US Yale University.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Maya Kurtsikidze, Communications Officer, UNICEF Georgia: Tel: (995 32) 23 23 88, 25 11 30, Fax: (995 32) 25 12 36; E-mail: mkurtsikidze@unicef.org,

Related links:www.unicef.org/georgia




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