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Title: Jordan’s early childhood development initiative : making Jordan fit for children
Authors: Sultana, Ronald G.
Keywords: Children -- Education -- Jordan
Problem children -- Jordan
Rural development -- Jordan
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: United Nations Children's Fund
Citation: Sultana, R. G. (2009). Jordan’s early childhood development initiative : making Jordan fit for children. United Nations Children's Fund: New York.
Abstract: Early Childhood Development (ECD) has particular significance as the early years of a child’s life constitute the “investment phase” in human development. Today we have more scientific knowledge on child development and brain based learning theories than ever before. Evidence points to the fact that most adult mental ability is formed in the first three years of life. Strong foundations for physical wellness, emotional security and social competence are also established during those years. ECD is a comprehensive strategy for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The second of the learning series, this time on Jordan as a case study, further promotes intended learning on innovation relevant to children’s issues. The ECD initiative in Jordan has demonstrated elements of taking good practice to larger scale. It is an excellent example of the work of UNICEF in assisting partners to transform initiatives into policy. With a clear vision, Jordan has laid the foundations for a sound national ECD movement that is not only based on latest scientific evidence and research, but is also well grounded in the country’s cultural heritage. The example of Jordan is instructive for the region despite measurable progress, countries within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region can still do better in promoting the well being and protection of its children. Countries of the MENA region have on average the second lowest enrolment rate in pre-primary education (15.7%). Most of these countries have equally low rates for exclusive breastfeeding (26%) and relatively high rates of stunting (26%). Most recent research on ECD provides evidence on the tight relationship between better parenting, responsive nutrition, brain development and the complexity of brain architecture from a neuroscience perspective, all of which should enhance early learning. Caregivers in the region have a wealth of positive practices to draw from, additional evidence will enable the wider community to adopt innovative methods for the early stimulation of children and thus, equipping them for life long learning. As we unite for children, as parents and caregivers, medical workers, learning institutions and centers, the media, governments, civic society, and the private sector, we look forward to future collaboration on this important issue.
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