The National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) on Wednesday held its first consultative meeting with stakeholders on early childhood development (ECD), announcing the official launch of the council’s formation of a national team dedicated to troubleshooting ECD related issues.
The meeting comes in light of a partnership agreement signed last month by the NCFA and the NGO Plan International Jordan (PIJ) to establish an ECD coordination platform in Jordan aimed at bringing together all key players to foster a better inter-sector collaboration.
In the presence of representatives of UNICEF, Save the Children and the Ministry of Social Development, among others, the event sought to “address and break the barriers faced by organisations in pursuing the best practices in the benefit of all children”, Director of NCFA Childhood Affairs Directorate Khitam Ahmad Al Utaibi told The Jordan Times.
The organisations are expected to hold a second meeting after Eid Al Fitr, followed by annual reunions where the members of the team will exchange thoughts and experiences to benefit from each other’s experience.
At the end of the first meeting, Al Utaibi stated: “Most participating organisations and institutions appeared very supportive of the idea of having a database collecting the information and programmes run by each partner, as this would help on working in cross cutting issues.”
Regarding the most urgent problems to be tackled by the team, NCFA Acting Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi stressed the low participation in KG1 in Jordan, noting that the council’s surveys showed that 49 per cent of mothers across the Kingdom prefer to take care of their children at home.
“We need to pay attention to this issue, as it is essential for children at that stage to develop their primary skills together with a professional,” Miqdadi stressed, pointing out that the most significant barriers preventing families to enroll children in kindergarten are the high fees and the lack of transportation to the centres.
For her part, PIJ representative in Jordan Muna Abbas underlined: “The ECD sector is tremendously challenged in the sense that problems are scattered in different aspects and the organisations working on them are inevitably divided,” expressing hopes to “reach an integrated approach in the near future”.