An awareness on early childhood development is expected to reach parliamentarians during their short break from parliamentary discussions today.
Some non-government organisations are teaming up with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to organise the awareness to get parliamentarians as policy makers to listen, give recommendations and help disseminate information throughout the country.
The Minister of Education and Training, Jean Pierre Nirua, is optimistic about investing in early childhood development for the nation’s future.
“We are concentrating too much on productive sectors that we take our children for granted and neglect their needs to education, adequate clothing, shelter and health care,” said Nirua.
“We must not forget that our children are the most valuable resource.
“They are our future leaders. We have to invest in them today so our country will have abundance human resource tomorrow.”
Apart from explaining why children matter to the nation’s future, the awareness is an opportunity for parliamentarians to understand why investing in children at an early age is important.
According to awareness organizers, research have identified that the first 1, 000 days of a child’s life as critical- between conception to a child’s second birthday.
By the age of 2, a baby’s brain has reached 80% of its adult size. The quality of experience in the 1,000 days of a child life establishes a strong foundation for learning and adulthood.
It is critical for the government to capitalize on this unique opportunity and make lifelong differences, said Minister Nirua.
The government, through key ministries, is already contributing to the first 1,000 days but the concern is how they can do it more better to meet regional and international commitments.
A plan is underway to create a task force on early childhood development.
The purpose of the National Early Childhood Development Advisory Council is to establish, coordinate and implement cross multi-sectoral approach within line ministries to accommodate the holistic needs of children in Vanuatu.