Integrated Early Childhood Development
UNICEF is helping pioneer Integrated Early Childhood Development in Viet Nam, an innovative and life-cycle approach that ensures children are healthy, ready to learn and thrive.
UNICEF believes every child has the right to the best start to life and reach their full potential. In Viet Nam, the government is striving to realize child rights as committed in international conventions and the Sustainable Development Goals, so all children have the right to learn, fully develop, be listened to and actively participate in decision-making relevant to their lives.
With the first 1,000 days in a child’s life critical to their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development, Viet Nam recognized the need for a more holistic childcare strategy with focused care in the early years of children's lives.
Traditionally, services in key sectors essential to children’s early growth and well-being – health, education and child protection – have been delivered by different actors and led to gaps in supporting the cognitive and emotional development of girls and boys in Viet Nam.
This need for families to access multiple services for their children in a cohesive way has become a national priority for Viet Nam, with investments in young children now accepted as also vital investments in a country’s long-term prosperity.
Viet Nam understands the need for a comprehensive approach that supports all children – regardless of their ethnicity, gender, origin, disability or poverty – while also acknowledging the importance of caring for mothers, during and after birth
For children to reach their full potential in life, UNICEF is pioneering Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) in three provinces (Dien Bien, Gia Lai and Kon Tum) - a life-cycle and integrated approach to ensure children are safe, healthy, ready to learn and thrive.
IECD maximizes the impact of early childhood support for children from conception to their eighth birthday within the context of the family and community, contributing to improved outcomes in children’s wellbeing.
With an ethos of shared responsibility between parents, care-givers, families and service providers, IECD takes a coordinated approach to integrate and enhance the quality of services across key sectors (health, nutrition, water and environmental sanitation, psychosocial care with early learning and child protection) to provide quality care and protection for children in their first years of life, especially from conception through to the age of four years.
This coordinated, integrated approach is essential to ensure the survival, optimal growth and development of children in Viet Nam. Intervening early will help avoid future, costly problems for society.
Theinnovative model also has the potential to enhance national development, as the early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behaviour and the capacity to learn and nurture into an adult. This means IECD is one of the most cost-efficient ways to boost human capital, peacebuilding, social cohesion and Viet Nam’s sustainable development.
IECD views each child through a broad lens of their physical, social, emotional, cognitive thinking and language development.