Ministry looks to expand early childhood care
TO help combat malnutrition in children, the government will strengthen early childhood care and development services. U Aung Kyaw Moe, director of the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement told The Myanmar Times on July 26 that a training program had been developed for that purpose.
U Aung Kyaw Moe was addressing a workshop on Early Childhood Care and Development Services.
The UN and international and national NGOs have provided technical assistance.
“Social work organisations will also provide the necessary educational and other support,” he said.
Dr Win Myat Aye, Union minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, told participants that technology and financing for private preschools in villages, training in childhood care and development, training upgrading courses based on home-based early childhood care and development in villages have already been implemented.
Director U Aung Kyaw Moe said the ministry had supported schemes to improve nutrition and provide K350 per child at preschools.
“Maternal groups have been developed in the villages to ensure better care and nutrition for children in surrounding villages with a preschool,” he said.
U Aung Kyaw Moe said the ministry’s services had provided effective assistance for the children, adding, “But we have to improve services further. There are only about 2000 maternal groups, and we have to increase the number in villages without a pre-school.”
Ministry officials conduct parent education discussion programs every three months by inviting parents to the pre-schools.
“We discuss how to take care of children, how children should develop, what nutrition is required. Parents receive education in children’s healthcare, in wards and villages across the nation,” said U Aung Kyaw Moe.
Township medical officers had been working with the health ministry on education programs to try to reduce widespread child malnutrition, he said, adding, “Our department prioritises child development and protection.”
The ministry is also considering establishing a diploma and degree in Early Childhood Care and Development, he added.
– Translation by San Layy