20.05.2005 Regional News

Forum on ECCD policy document held in Sekondi

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Sekondi, May 20, GNA - The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs has drafted a policy on Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) to ensure holistic service delivery and efficient use of resources for children from birth to eight years.

Mr John Hackman, Senior Regional Coordinator of the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC) in-charge of the Western Region said this at a forum on the draft ECCD policy document in Sekondi on Friday. He said the policy seeks to develop guidelines and assign responsibilities to stakeholders as well as a coordinating and monitoring mechanism for promoting early childhood development in Ghana. Mr Hackman said the draft document on ECCD is a comprehensive policy for children, their parents and caregivers.

"The document has the aim of protecting the rights of the child and develop their cognitive, emotional, social and physical potential". Mr Hackman said, "This relatively new approach would promote and protect the rights of the young child to survival, growth and development".

Mr Benjamin Otoo, Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Director of the Department of Social Welfare, said statistics from the Women and Juvenile Unit of the Ghana Police Service, the courts and the Department of Social Welfare indicate child maintenance cases are on the increase in the metropolis.

He said this is due to irresponsible parentage, unemployment and other factors.

Mr Otoo said his department would soon embark on inspection of Early Childhood Development Centres and those found to flouting the law would be closed down.

He said reports reaching his office indicate that some Early Childhood Development Centres have been established without the consent and approval of the Department.

Mr Otoo said anybody wishing to set up an Early Childhood Development Centre should first contact the department for the inspection of the premises to ensure that the centre meets the requirements of the Legislative Instrument on the establishment of the centres.

Mr Daniel Adade, Deputy Regional Director of the Birth and Death Registry, said unit committees are supposed to register births in their communities but this has not been possible because many unit committees are not functioning.

He said the Registry has so far trained 100 Public Health Nurses in the registering of births in the region.

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