We need to start developing children who can think critically and are able to empathize with communities, with worlds outside of their ownPost elections, we keep our focus on what the country’s newly elected officials should be doing to ensure an inclusive, peaceful and sustainable future for every Filipino.
In 2020, a total of 1.5 million live births were registered in the Philippines, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. These babies represent our country’s next generation of workers, thinkers and leaders. Each of them will be needing utmost support from the government in order to fully realize and develop their potential. While much of the focus during the elections was on politics, poverty and corruption, it seemed like the need to improve early childhood education (ECE) wasn’t put on the plate.
Early childhood is critical to human development. Children who receive proper early mental stimulation tend to perform better in school and have higher chances of developing skills required to contribute to social and economic development. Early childhood is when children learn to experience things for the first time, interact with others, and nurture knowledge and interests that stay with them throughout their lives. Massive and rapid brain development happens before a child reaches five years old. Therefore, it is important that our newly elected officials champion policies that support ECE. The Early Childhood Care and Development Council or ECCDC prescribes that 0- 2—year-olds must be brought to child development centers at least once a week, while 3-4— year-olds must regularly attend child development center sessions from Monday to Friday. These sessions are supposed to ensure the acquisition of age-appropriate skills before the children reach five years old.
When these children develop right, trillions of pesos are spared to answer future hunger and health problems. On-ground implementation of national policies needs to touch the people and ensure the implementation of programs that will make certain that beneficiaries are properly receiving the services expected of them.
If we want a better future for the country, we need to start developing children who can think critically and are able to empathize with communities, with worlds outside of their own. There is no way to predict what these 1.5 million babies will grow up to be. Some of them will be passionate about sports, animals, music, writing, film, law or medicine. But no matter what they want to pursue, their future success depends on the groundwork our policy makers will be creating. Hopefully, we will have early childhood development (ECD) champions representing the rights of the Filipino children both on the local and the national levels. To support our programs on ECD, please donate here: https://jazzypay.com/merchant/BID-9886889. (Story/Photos by: Rina Lopez)