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22 April, 2009, Ulaanbaatar - Knowledge and skills of parents and caregivers play a vital role in supporting their children’s growth and development.  Today UNICEF is launching a family based early childhood development toolkit in video format aimed at empowering parents and families to support their children’s growth and development. The toolkit contains day-to-day practical information and advice related to children’s health, nutrition, hygiene as well as intellectual development. 

The purpose of the development of family-based early childhood development toolkit is to equip parents, caregivers with basic skills and knowledge on child development and to blend traditional child-rearing practices and cultural beliefs with evidence based approaches, and to empower children to initiate their own learning with age appropriate activities.

 The period starting from antenatal phase up-to the age of three is the cycle of children’s most rapid growth of mental and socio-emotional capacities, as well as the key period for ensuring survival and adequate development. Children need to be protected from the risks of exposure to violence and stress, as well as poor health and nutrition, and need positive and responsive interactions with at least one parent/caregiver, including exposure to language opportunities for exploration and learning. These occur primarily in homes and communities. Therefore, the first set of the toolkit includes video lessons on how to support growth and development of children aged 0-3. Around 5,000 copies of this toolkit worth of MNT 15 million will be handed over to families and parents in remote areas.

In addition to the development of the toolkits in VCD format UNICEF has organized a series of training to improve parents and caregivers’ knowledge on preparation of young children to school. Low participation by families in preschool education and over reliance on service providers still remain to be addressed. UNICEF in collaboration with the Institute of Education and kindergarten teachers trains parents on the key skills to ensure children’s school readiness in the family and to change their attitude as being passive recipients of services to that active educator’s behavior for early childhood development programs and school preparedness.
The second set of the toolkit is planned to focus on development of 4-6 years old children and will be developed in 2009.

The launching of family-based early childhood development toolkit for parents took place at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and   it was attended   by Ms. Ch. Kulanda, Vice Minister of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia and Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, Representative, UNICEF Mongolia.



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