Uganda Launches National Policy on Early Childhood Development

Aida Girma, UNICEF's Representative in Uganda speaking during the launch on Thursday afternoon.

Uganda has Thursday launched the first ever national policy and action plan on Early Childhood Development (ECD), more about at a function held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

The Policy and Action Plan seeks to ensure integrated services for children from conception to 8 years of age in the form of health, order nutrition, salve education, protection, and parenting support services; representing one of Uganda’s most cost-effective ways to achieve more sustainable socio-economic growth in the future.

“The launch of the integrated Early Childhood Development (iECD) Policy and Action Plan is a landmark occasion for all children in Uganda,” said Hon. Janat Mukwaya, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

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“It is also a pivotal milestone for Uganda’s overall socio-economic development, especially as we intensify our pursuit of sustainable wealth creation and inclusive growth in order to achieve Middle Income Country status by 2020 and become an upper Middle Income Country by 2040.”

Patrick Bitature, the chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda noted that there is need to seriously invest in the capacities and potential of today’s children right from the start so they can be the drivers of the economy by 2040.

“When considering that our current average income per individual is $780 and our Vision 2040 goal is to have a $9,500 income per individual in 2040 – a twelve fold increase over the next 25 years – we have a long ways to go in a relatively short period of time,” he said.

“The Private Sector is thus fully committed to robustly implement this Early Childhood Development
policy and action plan with Government and all other stakeholders,” Bitature added.

“The development of children’s brains and skills from conception to 8 years of age has a lasting effect on their intellectual capacity, personality and social behaviour for the rest of their lives,” said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda.

“When well nurtured and cared for in their earliest years, children are: healthier and better able to fully develop their thinking, language, emotional and social skills; perform better in school; and have a greater chance of becoming creative and productive members of society.”

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development will hold the Secretariat for implementing the National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy and Action Plan and will be convening all
stakeholders to implement the policy


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