Mrs Ruth Addison, a Child development consultant has said that early childhood care and development issues should cut across sectors and not limited to one Ministry.
“Early childhood care and development issues is not a one Ministry business and we should work to ensure that every Ministry, Department and Agency implements some aspect of Ghana’s early childhood care and development policy,”
Mrs Addison who is also the Former Director of the Department of Children said this when she addressed participants of a workshop to review and discuss Ghana’s Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Policy.
The participants were drawn from the various Ministries, Departments and Agency as well as representatives of selected non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, Faith based organizations, the religious bodies, some parents of children with disabilities as well as the academia.
Mrs Addison tasked participants to ensure that issues that affected children with special needs and their families were addressed in the new policy.
“Make a conscious effort to ensure that the needs of children especially children with special needs are rolled into government policies…All sectors must create desks that addresses issues of children with special needs just like it has been done with the gender issues and do not forget about their caregivers,” Mrs Addison reiterated.
Mr Terrence Beney, the Consultant for the project, said the old policy did not address issues affecting children with disabilities and their caregivers.
He therefore called for differentiated packages that addressed the needs of children with special needs and their caregivers
Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) involves the timely provision of a range of services that promotes the survival, growth, development and protection of young children between the ages of zero and eight.
Mrs Florence Ayisi Quartey, Acting Director at the Department of Children, said the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is revising the ECCD policy in partnership with UNICEF.
She said they are adopting a highly participatory approach to ensure the involvement of relevant stakeholders and to develop a comprehensive policy that addresses Ghana’s ECCD needs.
She said initial stakeholder consultations were undertaken to solicit inputs for the policy review and series of consultations are being carried out as part of the review process to assist in the drafting of a costed implementation plan as well as a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework.
Participants at the workshop agreed to work towards a policy that was inclusive and to ensure that all sectors adopted and implemented components of the ECCD policy