The Department of Children under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has held a day’s stakeholders’ consultative workshop to validate its Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) policy evaluation draft report, in Tamale.
The policy, adopted in August 2004, received recommendations from stakeholder engagements for its evaluation, and the process begun in January 2020, with support from ActionAid Ghana and United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) among other partners.
The evaluation is to allow the review of ECCD policy design and implementation, assess cumulative effects, and guide policy revisions to align it with the current landscape and national aspirations.
The workshop created a forum for broader consultation of stakeholders in the Northern Zone, to share ideas, suggestions and recommendations to aid the policy’s review process for its completion.
Madam Florence Ayisi Quartey, Acting Director of Department of Children of the MoGCSP, said the goal of the review was to have a well-coordinated inter-sectoral approach to ensure integrated programming for children to develop their full cognitive, emotional, social and physical potentials.
She said the policy would offer a framework to guide government and other institutions to ensure effective implementation of ECCD programmes to provide a solid foundation for children below the age of nine to promote their holistic development.
Madam Quartey noted that the area of early childhood and development is critical to the country’s development, and stressed the need for government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other development organisations to prioritise the needs of children below nine years to accelerate their growth and development.
Madam Pearl Peters, ECCD Principal Programme Officer at the MoGCSP, said Ghana had made some significant efforts in the implementation of ECCD programmes across key sectors of the economy, since its inception.
“However, with elapsed time-frame of policy targets coupled with evidences and development in the ECCD sector, it is important that the existing policy be reviewed to increase its viability to ensure effective implementation of ECCD programmes in the country”, she said.
Participants present at the workshop took turns to highlight emerging issues and made their inputs on what should go into the successful completion of the revised policy.