Early childhood development
For every child, early moments matter
There is increasing evidence which demonstrate that early childhood interventions, early in life, are important because they help mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences which, if not addressed, lead to poor health (e.g., non-communicable diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes), poor educational attainment, economic dependency, increased violence and crime, greater substance abuse and depression – all of which add to the cost and burden in society.
For early childhood services to be effective and yield expected results, quality services across sectors must work together effectively addressing the various dimensions of childhood development. It is important in this regard to ensure maternal health including during pregnancy. Early childhood development is not possible without investing in the provision of positive parenting skills.
“Early Childhood Development is seen as one of the most cost-efficient investments in human capital, which leads to a country’s sustainable development.”
Challenges of ECD in Tajikistan include the existence of a number of policies, strategies, and programmes that address components of ECD, which are mainly sector-based and fragmented. There is a clear lack of a child-centered approach to development, and multi-sectoral coordination and monitoring mechanisms for ECD. These challenges make it difficult to forecast ECD related investment and expenditures, comprehensive reporting, monitoring, and evaluation to inform planning and measuring of ECD interventions.
Our early childhood education intervention will be implemented based on the Nurturing Care Framework, which includes such important areas as health, nutrition, safety & security for the child, responsive caregiving and early learning. It is not enough to simply add early childhood development (ECD) content to existing programmes. We work to embed ECD into every relevant sector and system, from policy development to budgeting and training.
Together with partners, we are developing a National 1,000 golden day strategy to foster early childhood development.
We are also supporting the national scale-up of integrated care for child development, mother and child handbook and infant and young children module, including capacity development resources leveraging and policy advocacy.
We in discussion with our counterparts to design and deliver a national parenting programme to support early childhood development and learning including hygiene promotion and prevention of violence against children. We are also working to support the expansion of early detection and early intervention mechanisms around the country and working to develop a standard on EDEI for health practitioners.
Family is a natural environment for the growth and well-being of children.
Providing a safe and protective family environment for every child is the priority of UNICEF. All efforts should be made in enabling the child to remain with his family or ensure alternative family-based care, especially for the children of a young age.
“No child should live in institutional care”
Therefore, UNICEF is supporting strengthening and developing new family-based care services and transformation of Baby Homes in Tajikistan, to help children without parental care to find a home.
Early childhood education is an integral part of the ECD. We are working to explore ways with Government to provide alternative ECE opportunities for children, who are not covered with early childhood education and capacity building teachers involved in this sector.