Memorandum of Understanding for Early Childhood Care
A joint memorandum of understanding was signed today between Plan International Jordan represented by the Country Director Muna Abbas, Royal Health Awareness Society represented by Director-General, Hanin Odeh, and The National Council for Family Affairs represented by Secretary-General, Dr. Mohammed Meqdady to initiate the implementation of “First Steps’ Big Step” Project. The project aims at improving early childhood development at a national level through our national health sector and supports the National Early Development Childhood team to carry out its work plan and activities. This partnership stems from the importance of early childhood in line with national plans, including the Human Resources Development Strategy for the years 2015-2025, which devotes a specific focus to early childhood development.
The project is implemented by Plan International (PI), the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS), the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA), in addition to the research institution (Ideas 42) in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Health (MOH). It is worth noting that the project will last for two years.
Plan International Jordan Director emphasized the importance of this partnership is uniting efforts to serve early childhood development as a national priority. The agreement includes support for the National Early Childhood Team led by the National Early Childhood Council, which is the coordinating platform for early childhood issues at the national level. On the other hand, the agreement aims, through working with the Royal Health Awareness Society and the Ministry of Health, to empower mothers, fathers, and caregivers to make them more responsive to their children's developmental needs at this integral age in their lives. Mrs. Mona Abbas added Plan's keenness to build partnerships with Jordanian national institutions, which would contribute to achieving development goals for the advancement of various sectors, the most important of which is the early childhood sector.
The Secretary-General of the National Council for Family Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Meqdady, stressed the importance of partnership and cooperation to support early childhood development. The national early childhood development team is considered the only platform for discussing development issues, identifying gaps, and exchanging experiences between national and international institutions. He indicated that according to this agreement, indicators are to be developed for early childhood development issues in Jordan to ensure uniformity in quantitative and qualitative standards in preparing national reports within the system for collecting national data and research; this will be a reference to prepare a study on early childhood development in Jordan. The study will help provide an opportunity for monitoring and evaluating the national programs and directing decision-makers with national policies.
Mrs. Hanin Odeh, Director General of the Royal Society for Health Awareness, said: We always aspire to fruitful partnerships and development projects that contribute to establishing the rules of public health and safety in all groups of Jordanian society. I am happy about the agreement, and the cooperation of our partners along with Ideas 42 and the Jordanian Ministry of Health. We are well aware of the importance of early childhood development and strive to make it a national priority. We are very confident about the value of this project. Supporting mothers, fathers, and caregivers to be more responsive and empowering to raise children in a healthy environment has always been at the core of our ambitions. The project will be implemented in Motherhood and Childhood centers. Sessions are set for both parents and their children, and with topics related to health, child protection, and education. As for the children, they are to receive financial and social education programs. The project will reach eight health centers through the Royal Health Awareness Society and in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Health and Plan International.