Celebrating National Education Day, SEAMEO CECCEP hosted the Soft Launching of the Policy Brief on 10 May 2023, at the SEAMEO CECCEP Auditorium, Lembang, Bandung. This policy brief has been prepared from 2022 to 2023 by the SEAMEO CECCEP team with the support and involvement of Academics, GB Members, Advisory, ministry representatives, and related partners.
The Soft Launching of this policy brief was carried out in a blended mode, attended by 126 audiences both joining online and face to face. The resource persons who attended the event offline are Ir. Harris Iskandar, Ph.D. as the representative of the Directorate of ECE MoECRT, Dr. Euis Kurniati (Head of ECE Master Program, UPI), Irwan Gunawan, M.Pd representative of Tanoto Foundation, and Eko Novi Arianti, M.Si as Assistant Deputy Gender Mainstreaming Social and Cultural Affairs Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS).
In his remarks, Dr. Iwan Syahril, Ph.D, The Director General of Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, and Secondary Education MoECRT said that he greatly appreciated the policy brief on universal child care. The existence of this policy brief can strengthen advocacy on early childhood education and increase knowledge for stakeholders about the importance of quality ECD services. Universal Child Care is a starting point for recognizing the importance of cooperation in providing quality early childhood education and care to support all aspects of child development. Hopefully, the recommendations compiled in this policy brief can be widely accepted and utilized by the community and stakeholders.
Director of SEAMEO CECCEP, Prof. Vina Adriany, P.hD, expressed her gratitude to all parties collaborating in preparing this policy brief. She hopes that this policy brief can create equity in education and other fields, one of which is fulfilling children's and women's rights in line with SDGs points 4 and 5.
In his presentation, Ir. Harris Iskandar, PhD, explained the ECCE program in the post-pandemic period. One of the ways to achieve ECE quality recovery is through "Freedom to Play” aimed to increase the participation rate of ECE students and school readiness, create equity that no one is left behind, and create quality. This statement was supported by a statement from Dra. Eko Novi Arianti, M.Si that there are still obstacles to childcare facilities in Indonesia. Those obstacles are that most quality education services are still centered in cities, high costs of education services, service standards that do not fully fulfill rights, and daycare facilities that must be regulated. She added that childcare principles include the child's best interests, empowerment, equality of justice, considering the growth and development of the child, and synergy and integration of all relevant parties. The importance of care work and its facilities is important for both women and men.
In the second session, Dr. Euis Kurniati mentioned that childcare requires a good support system. Taking care of children is not an easy thing to do, it depends on the support from the home, family, and community environment. One of them is the importance of community support in taking care of children, such as the availability of affordable access because everyone has a role to play in ensuring future generations.
The last speaker, Irwan Gunawan, M.Pd., unfolded the importance of the father's involvement in parenting. Parenting is a shared responsibility between mother and father. Fathers also have equal opportunities in parenting. In Asia, fathers are often not involved in Parenting. In brief, the role of fathers in parenting is based on three dimensions: engagement (involvement in the thought process), availability (presence), and responsibility (financial obligations, etc.). Some efforts that need to be made to improve the role of fathers in parenting are: a). constructing new beliefs that may be believed as "modern fathers" rather than the "traditional fathers" they experience. b). deconstructing patriarchal understanding and gender equity in the implementation of household chores. c). a call for family-friendly regulations and programs that support fathers' involvement in the family.
This Policy Brief on Universal Child Care aims to advocate for governments, policymakers, and all stakeholders to create equitable access to universal high-quality early childhood care to fulfill children's and women's rights. The policy brief calls for expanded access to high-quality ECD for children aged 0 to 8 years. The government is responsible for providing quality ECD for every child, so it is a job for all of us, not only the government but also families, schools, and communities. "We would like to thank all presenters, guests, Advisory Board, SEAMEO GB Members, and Tanoto Foundation for supporting the soft launching of this policy brief." said The Deputy Director for Programmes, Mr. Ith Vuthy, in his Closing Remark.