August 16, 2018 1:09 pm

On Thursday 16th August 2018, the Outgoing Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba inaugurated the Re-Constituted National Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Coordinating Committee.

The committee which comprises stakeholders from diverse institutions is expected to help the ministry of gender ensure the effective implementation of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Policy in the country.

Addressing the newly inaugurated committee members, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba emphasised the role of the committee, urging them to take stock of the previous achievements and re-strategize where necessary to advance the implementation of the ECCD policy in Ghana.

“It is my expectation that the National Early Childhood Coordinating Committee would work towards the review of the policy and strengthen the coordination of ECCD in Ghana”, she said.

Hon. Otiko Djaba challenged the committee to ensure disaggregation of data when considering the issues so that the vulnerable, like children with disabilities are not left behind. She also made mention that the ministry is working with UNICEF to do audio versions of the ECCD policy in various local dialects in order to make the policy more meaningful to the local people.

On his part, the acting Chief Director for the ministry of gender, Mr. Alfred Obeng, encouraged the reinstituted committee to build on the work of the previous committee by ensuring the effective implementation of the ECCD policy.

The elected chairperson of the committee, Mr. Barima Akwasi Amankwah, representing the NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child, in his speech, expressed the committee’s appreciation for the opportunity and also assured the ministry that the committee will diligently discharge its duty to promote the development and wellbeing of children in the country.

Specific responsibilities assigned to the Committee include;
• Advise the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on ECCD issues;
• Establish and operationalize a national programme for research, monitoring and evaluation of ECCD policy programmes pertaining to their area;
• Make provision for and mobilize resources for ECCD programmes within the budget;
• Propose amendments to the policy as and when necessary;
• Examine current laws as they affect families and young children and make recommendations for amendment, where necessary;
• Monitor and ensure implementation of the ECCD policy;
• Ensure co-ordination of efforts among those providing ECCD services, especially in the training of care-givers, and
• Facilitate the synchronization of relevant aspects of this policy into existing sector policies and programmes upon its adoption.

Institutions comprising the ECCD Coordinating Committee are: NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF, the National Council for Private Early Childhood Growth and Development, the Ministry of Information and the Ghana Health Service.