SEAMEO CECCEP Held Focus Group Discussion for Drafting HI-ECD Policy Brief: Focus on Access to Education and Nutrition

From May 26-28, 2024, SEAMEO CECCEP organized an activity to draft a policy brief addressing Holistic Integrative Early Childhood Development (HI-ECD) with a focus on access to education and nutrition services. The event was attended by various experts and stakeholders, including SEAMES, Dr. Hasina Banu Ebrahim (UNESCO Co-chair for Early Childhood Education, Care and Development at the University of South Africa), Woro Srihastuti Sulistyaningrum, ST, MIDS (Deputy for the Coordination of Quality Improvement of Children, Women, and Youth at Kemenko PMK), Dr. dr. Herqutanto, MPH., MARS., Sp.KKLP (Director of SEAMEO RECFON), and Fitriana Herarti (Tanoto Foundation).

The purpose of this activity was to provide an opportunity to share best practices in implementing HI-ECD, particularly in improving access to education and nutrition services in Indonesia and its surrounding regions. Additionally, it aimed to discuss issues related to the implementation of HI-ECD, especially regarding enhancing access to education and nutrition services.

Prof. Vina Adriany, Ph.D, in her opening remarks, shared best practices from educational institutions in the Philippines. She mentioned that while some countries do not explicitly use the term Holistic Integrative Early Childhood Development (HI-ECD), their educational institutions have already implemented HI-ECD services. She added that this activity was expected to formulate recommendations and solutions to enhance HI-ECD access to education and nutrition services and gather input from various stakeholders for the development of the HI-ECD policy brief.

In her presentation, Prof. Hasina Banu Ebrahim emphasized the importance of universal access to early childhood development programs for all children, prioritizing the most vulnerable children to achieve the Social Justice Principles of Access, Quality, Redress, Equity, Inclusivity, and Efficiency.

Woro Srihastuti Sulistyaningrum, S.T., MIDS, stated that half of Indonesia's population consists of children, making it crucial to create national policies and global commitments regarding early childhood development. HI-ECD is a globally coordinated commitment, involving all stakeholders, including government and non-government elements, community organizations, and the business sector (Pentahelix). Strengthening and synergistic coordination from the central to regional levels is essential in achieving the desired quality of human resources, ensuring children are healthy, intelligent, cheerful, and well-behaved, as well as receiving adequate nutrition and quality education.

Dr. dr. Herqutanto, discussed the Early Childhood Care, Nutrition, and Education (ECCNE) program or "Anakku Sehat dan Cerdas," which aims to optimize the growth and development of young children by strengthening integrated essential components, namely caregiving, education, nutrition, and health through supportive environments and parental involvement (parenting), with policy support and cross-sectoral participation.

This activity was expected to contribute significantly to drafting better policies to improve access to education and nutrition services for early childhood in Indonesia. With input from various experts and stakeholders, the drafted policy brief was anticipated to provide practical and implementable solutions with a positive impact on early childhood development.


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