The Cinderella of the education system?
Early Childhood Education and Care is such an important component of an education system,yet still maintains a low profile in terms of real investment in children.It still has to be separated from ‘real education’ (which of course can be beneficial in terms of attitudes towards what constitutes play and what is work in school). However the transition can be too brutal and many countries (including Vietnam) include a school readiness program, which is focused on the children -but perhaps it is the primary schools that need to change and be ready for the children and be more child friendly.
It is time to go to the ball!
Early Childhood in Emergencies Working Group
The Early Childhood in Emergencies Working Group (EEWG) works under the umbrella of the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development (CGECCD).
The EEWG is co-convened by UNICEF and Save the Children and includes more than 100 organizations and individuals working in early childhood, emergencies and other related fields.
The purpose of the EEWG is to analyze and synthesize information gathered from research, case studies, successful practices and tools from the fields of EC and Emergencies and to use this information to:
- Develop tools and publications and to disseminate this information
for use by global actors and stakeholders in EC and Emergencies.
- Advocate for improved investments, policies, and commitment to
action related to young children in Emergency and Transition
- Inform the current gap in understanding that EC programming in
Emergency situations needs to include the diverse needs of
children in each phase of the emergency, transition and normalcy.
- Inform capacity development of EC and Emergencies’ stakeholders
to effectively act for children in these settings.
What is our strategy and what we do?
Through collaboration with other like-minded agencies, individuals, and experts, including:
1. The Inter-agency Network on Education in Emergencies (INEE) through the EC in Emergencies Task Team . Key activities include:
- Development of a Position Paper and brief which explores current and emerging issues related to young children and emergencies, as well as recommendations for future action (currently in process).
- Revision of the INEE Good Practice Guide for Early Childhood Development ; this will feed into the revision process of the INEE Minimum Standards, and be integrated into INEEMinimum Standards training.
2. The Agency Learning Network on the Care and Protection of Children in Crisis-Affected Countries (CPC Learning Network) through one of 6 Global Technical Groups . Key activities include:
- Review of existing policies/strategies on EC in emergency and transition situations.
- Advocacy and practical guidance for mainstreaming of ECCD into the emergency coordination mechanisms, such as the Cluster approach.
- Establishment of an EC in Emergencies knowledge database with information from Northern and Southern sources and contexts.
- Provision of practical guidelines, tools and materials with process, output and outcome indicators for effectively monitoring and evaluating the impact of ECCD programs on children, caregivers, families and
communities in Emergencies.
- Development of strategies for EC inclusion in early preparedness phases to mitigate the negative impacts of emergencies and to strengthen community empowerment and ownership
- Support to research and knowledge generation in EC in Emergencies
Manuals and Guidelines
This section includes manuals and guidelines on how to implement ECCD in Emergencies programming:
Delivering Education for Children in Emergencies: A Key Building Block for the Future (International Save the Children, 2008)
This new report from Save the Children demonstrates that it is possible to provide quality education even in the midst of conflict. Moreover, while the international community is beginning to meet the challenge, there is much more that can be done if donor governments would rise to the occasion.
Starting Up Child Centered Spaces in Emergencies: A Field Manual (Kostelny, K., 2008)
To help mobilize communities on behalf of children during and after emergencies, Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) has developed a Child Protection Approach that utilizes diverse tools, including Child Centered Spaces (CCSs) as a means to reach and support children. This manual is divided into three sections: 1) A description of CCF’s child protection framework, which includes CCF’s vision as it relates to child protection, child well-being, and child rights. It also describes CCF’s Deprivation, Exclusion and Vulnerability Model, and explains the strategic rationale for establishing Child Centered Spaces; 2) A list of 13 practical recommended steps for implementing CCSs. Throughout this section, field examples are provided to demonstrate steps of the CCS process in different emergency contexts. A quick checklist is also supplied for each step, indicating the key elements and activities for the step. The steps are intended to serve as guidelines, as each emergency situation is unique and requires adaptation of the approach within the local context; 3) Lastly, there is a compilation of annexes, references, and resources for working with CCSs.
IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2007).
This set of guidelines enable humanitarian agencies, workers, and communities to implement a set of multi-sectoral responses to support people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency. With a definite focus on social interventions and supports, these guidelines also highlight the importance of utilizing local resources (e.g., teachers, health workers, healers, women’s group, etc.) to promote psychosocial well-being. The guidelines also include attention to protection and care of people with severe mental disorders. Of particular importance to early childhood care and development, see Action Sheet 5.4: Facilitate support for young children (0-8 years) and their caregivers. This section reveals suggestions and key actions to support young children (0-8 years) experiencing emergency situations.