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27.12.2005 Regional News

Assemblies urged incorporate childhood care in development plans

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Agona Swedru, Dec 27, GNA - Mrs Ruth Addison, National Co-ordinator of Early Childhood Care and Development of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, has called on District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies to incorporate childhood development in their development plans. She stated that to enable children to realise their full potentials the assemblies should initiate policies and programmes for children from birth to eight years to protect their rights and promote their cognitive, emotional, social and physical development.

Mrs Addison announced this when she addressed the Agona Assembly at its last meeting at Swedru to create awareness on the adoption of an early childhood policy. She called on the Assemblies to include in the programmes the provision of health, nutrition, education, water and environmental cleanliness in homes and communities to promote child survival, growth and development. Mrs Addison noted that economists, political scientists, neuroscientists and social workers had substantial data that indicate that the best investment in human capital had to be made in children up to six years old.

"Early child development as the foundation of human capital formation, has the highest rate of return in child development activity and is an effective route to reduce poverty," she said. Mrs Addison said the inculcation of moral and social values in humanity yielded the best results in infants and stated that assemblies could make a positive impact. Children from poor backgrounds fell progressively behind their more advantaged peers, she said, adding that, early child development programmes could help to eliminate such disadvantages.