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UNICEF

National Consultative Workshop on Early Childhood Development

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Photo: UNICEF Viet Nam\2016\Simon Lister

Ha Noi, 8th September 2017 – A consultative workshop has been held today by the Ministry of Labour Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and other line ministries in partnership with UNICEF to get advice and opinion of various stakeholders on the Draft National Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme for the period of 2017-2025.

Titled National Programme on Care for Comprehensive Development of Children in Early Years at Home and in the Community, the National ECD Programme refers to a comprehensive approach to policies and programmes for children from birth to eight years of age, their parents and caregivers. The programme highlights the importance of essential services for infants and young children, which cover multiple sectors: health, nutrition, education, child protection, and water and environmental sanitation. The National ECD Programme also introduced an integrated approach to ECD which is critical in supporting strengths-based, flexible approaches, and facilitating holistic responses for children and families. This approach enables families to access multiple services for their children and for themselves in a cohesive way.

The development of the National ECD Programme was led by MOLISA, the leading agency for children's issues, in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) and social organizations including Central Committee of Viet Nam Fatherland Front, Women Union, Youth Union, Farmer's Union and Viet Nam Association for Protection of Child Rights. The programme is planned to be finalized and submitted to the Prime Minister in November 2017.

"ECD plays an important role and lays the foundation for physical, intellectual, emotional and aesthetic development of children. ECD creates foundation to ensure social inclusion and social justice, which are key to the sustainable development of the country. The Government of Viet Nam commits to implement the international conventions that the country has ratified and we are trying our best to ensure that all child rights are fully realized", said Mr. Doan Mau Diep, Vice Minister of MOLISA at the Consultation Workshop.

"The government of Viet Nam has made the right decision to commit to develop a nation-wide policy for Early Childhood Development bringing together different line agencies that play a critical role in the life of a child. A failure to have strong government commitment would come at a great cost with poor learning, lower wages, higher unemployment, and increased dependence on public assistance that weigh down economic and social progress for everyone", said Mr. Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam.

Besides newly effected Child Law, a key legal document for protection, care and education for children, Viet Nam issued various laws, policies and plans supporting ECD such as the Law on Health Insurance offering free healthcare for children under six years of age; the Education Law defining early childhood education as a part of the national educational system; the Labour Law stipulating six-month maternity leave for women and social protection reform towards a rights-based, inclusive and transformative system.

However, major gaps in supporting the cognitive and emotional development of boys and girls in Viet Nam were found especially for children under four years of age. Close to 25 per cent of children under five years of age suffer from stunting. Approximately 77 per cent of preschool age children (aged 3-5) and 13 per cent of kindergarten age children (aged under 3) do not attend any formal pre-learning programme. Every year, about 2,000 children experience violence and abuse; 170,000 children are without parental care; and many being injured, including drowning, one of the leading cause of death in children.

Around 200 participants present at the Consultation, representing Government Office, National Assembly, civil social organizations, universities, research institutions, private sector, INGOs, development organizations and authorities from 22 provinces. They have discussed and provided constructive comments to improve the National ECD Programme to ensure cross-sectoral synergy and contribution from multiple sectors to realize the rights of children.

For more information, please contact:

  • Châu Thị Minh Anh, Head of Child Care Section, MOLISA, +84-9089 4527266, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hương, UNICEF Việt Nam, 84-4-38500225; +84-904154678; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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