Bhubaneswar: Women and Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahu inaugurated an exhibition of low-cost child friendly toys at the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre of the Home Economics Training Centre (HETC) here during the observation of Ankur and Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Day, Monday.
The Minister said the government attaches top priority to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) which encompasses the inseparable elements of care, nutrition, play and early learning in a protective, enabling environment.
Evidence indicates that the brain develops by 80 per cent during the first two years of childhood and this influences physical and mental health, behaviour and productivity. Neglect during this stage has an adverse impact on human development.
She also launched the Parents+ Module, TLM booklets, Information Education Communication (IEC) material (posters and flipcharts), pictorial handbooks on ECCE and a handbook for observation of ECCE Day.
Anu Garg, Principal Secretary, W&CD department, said that the 19th of every month is observed in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) as ECCE Day. The Department is trying to take the ECD programme to the next level. ECCE Day is used to sensitize frontline workers, parents and the community about the need for early stimulation of children at home/community.
She said the broad outcomes of the celebration are that every centre will be converted to a vibrant AWC. The model of ECD displayed today will be circulated across the state. Training will be imparted to Anganwadi workers to convert existing AWCs into vibrant ones, Anu added.
The age and developmentally appropriate, play-based, child-friendly and curriculum revised Nua Arunima will be translated into tribal languages, she said.
The Parents+ Module aims to sensitise parents and the community about the importance of nutrition and early stimulation of brain development. Communicators’ and facilitators’ manuals have also been developed for the purpose, Anu Garg added.