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Early Childhood Care and Education: One of the Best Investments a Country Can Make

© UNICEF Pacific

NADI, 4 December 2012 – Research shows that providing a high quality education for children before they turn five yields significant long-term benefits.
A three-day meeting of the Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Care and Education (PRC4ECCE) held last week will oversee region-wide investment in high quality and sustainable early childhood care and education (ECCE) programmes and initiatives so children in the Pacific reach their full potential.

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.

UNICEF works in 190 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 more information about UNICEF and its work visit:


For further information, please contact:
Donna Hoerder, UNICEF Pacific Communications Specialist,  ph: +679 3300 439/ +679 3236 100,



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