COTABATO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) is running an exhibit on Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) this week at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC) in this city in line with the region’s celebration of the 24th National Children’s Month.
The exhibit opened Monday and will run until Friday, November 18. It highlights the four stages or cornerstones of development of young children and is the second in a series of four activities included in the DSWD-ARMM’s ECCD Summit.
The ECCD is defined under Republic Act 8980 as the full range of health, nutrition, early education, and social services programs that provide for the holistic needs of children 0-8 years old. It rests on four cornerstones beginning from the first 1,000 days of a child, the preschool years from two to four years old, the primary school years from five to eight years old, and the involvement of the local government in childhood policies.
The four cornerstones of the ECCD harness consolidated efforts and combined interventions from different sectors to have greater impact on child development in terms of health, nutrition, early education, child protection, and their welfare’s prioritization in local government planning.
Kay Lintongan, DSWD-ARMM Specialist on Child and Youth Welfare Program (CYWP), said that aside from showcasing the inherent features of children’s development stages, the exhibit aims to provide parents and stakeholders helpful information on the key roles they play in support to the developmental needs of children.
The other regional agencies taking part in the exhibit are the members of the Regional Subcommittee for the Welfare of Children (RSWC), which are comprised of the Department of Health (DOH) through its National Nutrition Council, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Department of Interior Local Government (DILG).
In the ARMM, member agencies of the RSWC are implementing the following programs anchored on the ECCD: the DILG’s training on the mainstreaming of ECCD in the Local Government Units, the NNC’s ECCD Intervention Package for first 1,000 days in the nine municipalities of Sulu, involving Infant and Young Child Feeding and Nutrition in Emergency Trainings, the DepEd’s Kindergarten Curriculum Framework, and the DSWD’s Child and Youth Welfare Program, and operation of and 120-days supplemental feeding in its 2,092 Child Development Centers (formerly known as Day Care Centers) across the region.
The region’s ECCD program is also strongly supported by international non-government organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Australian Aid, and BRAC International, which implements programs that puts primary emphasis on early childhood development in the curriculum of their education programs such as the Alternative Delivery Model and the Tahderriya.
This week’s exhibit will be followed by an ECCD Forum and Workshop on Seamless ECCD which form part of the DSWD-ARMM’s ECCD Summit in line with the National Children’s Month celebration. (Bureau of Public Information)