Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has called for comprehensive early childhood care in Mangochi to ensure children’s smooth transition to primary education.
The minister expressed the sentiments in the district on Tuesday childhood development (ECD) Commemoration Week and handover of Mpinganjira Community-based Childcare Centre to the community.
The commemoration is aimed at sensitising people to the importance of enrolling their children to early child education and promotion of high quality ECD services.
Kaliati said government prioritises ECD because it is the catalyst for national development as it prepares children before starting primary school.
“It still remains government’s plan to see every child attending pre-school education before entering primary education as it provides foundation for learning socially and academically,” she said.
Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare director of child affairs McKnight Kalanda said they will continue to provide policy direction to promote ECD.
“Parents play better roles more especially when we look at what happens to the human brain during the first 1 000 days in terms of nutrition of the child, issues of health and the general care for the child and the primary caregiver,” he said.
World Vision Malawi deputy country director Fordson Kafweku, who represented all partners in child affairs, said Malawi is a model of pre-school education as evidenced by government’s plans to make it a priority.
“ECD education is crucial for every country that is why World Vision has constructed 623 community-based child care centres nationwide,” he said.
The Malawi Government is implementing a five-year project from 2019–2024 with funds from the World Bank worth $60 million (about K49 billion) to construct 150 child-based care centres nationwide.