Solomon Islands
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Solomon Islands Government Commits to Developing and Implementing Early Childhood Development Policy

The Solomon Islands government has reaffirmed its commitment with other Pacific Island countries in developing Early Childhood Development (ECD) Policy.

Minister of Education and Human Resources Development Hon Lanelle Tanaganda announced the government’s commitment at the Pacific ECD Forum currently underway in Nadi, Fiji.

Minister Tanaganda said the government’s efforts in developing the ECD Policy began in 2019.

Minister for Education and Human Resources Development Hon Lanelle Tanaganda delivering Solomon Islands presentation on ECD

She said Solomon Islands already have an overall Children’s policy that defines children as any person below the age of 18 years.

“Solomon Islands already has an Overall National Children’s Policy as it defines children as any person below the age of 18 years. While the ECD National Policy starts with preconception to 8 years. This Policy has been developed over the years.”

The Minister announced that in its efforts and commitment towards ECD, the government through the Cabinet has approved the Solomon Islands National ECD Policy this month.

“The ECD Policy is inline with the Ministries’ work plans and the country’s National Development Strategy. The Policy is also positioned to improve program and quality delivery of services for young children and families within the principles of Nurturing Care Framework for ECD.”

Solomon Islands delegation engaged in discussions on ECD

A National Steering Committee Secretary consisting of Permanent Secretaries from line Ministries that are part of the policy has been established. This includes an ECD Technical Working Group consisting of Deputy Secretaries and Directors to work on the policy.

Minister Tanaganda said with the establishment of the National Steering Committee Secretary and the ECD Technical Working Group, Solomon Islands have the people who have knowledge, wealth and understanding on the development of a child.

She added that strong leadership and commitment from the Steering Committee members will help strengthen the implementation of the policy.

Co-Chair for the Pacific Regional Council for ECD and Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon Lynda Tabuya said Pacific countries have achieved so much with several milestones since leaders gathered in 2017 and endorsed the 9 points action agenda, the Pacifica Call to Action on ECD.

Hon Tabuya said the achievements and milestones since includes, ECD was identified as the key priority in the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders communique at the 49th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Nauru in 2018.

In 2019, Pacific Regional Council for ECD was established.

Hon Tabuya said these steps demonstrates the commitment of Pacific leaders to support young children and their families by recognising the role of early investment in transforming individual lives, communities and nations.

Co-Chair for the Pacific Regional Council for ECD and Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon Lynda Tabuya

The key success of the current ECD Forum so far was the endorsement of the Pacifica Call to Action Point number 10 on ECD and Resilience by Samoa’s Minister for Finance Hon Mulipola Anarosa.

Point number 10 prioritizes ECD as a pathway to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to climate changes and other emergencies.

Day 2 (23 February 20230 of the Pacific ECD Forum provides leaders the opportunity to share the progress on the implementation of the Pacifica Call to Action on ECD discuss the way forward.

Discussions also focused on policies and action plans, ECD financing and how to implement policies to the advantage of young children and their families.

Leaders during the opening of the ECD forum

Leaders also discussed and heard presentations on good parenting, faith and culture in raising children, support system for children with disabilities and childcare and workplace.

The leaders will also convene and discuss ECD implementation plans and priorities and determine ECD strategic priorities for 2023 to 2025 before the forum concludes on Friday 24 February 2023.

ENDS///

By Fredrick Kusu

Nadi, Fiji