Early childhood development a must for every child: Witbooi

07 Sep 2018 15:10pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 07 SEP (NAMPA) – Children who are exposed to quality early childhood development (ECD) are less likely to repeat grades, more likely to reach tertiary education and most likely to secure high paying jobs.
This was said by Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Lucia Witbooi during the official opening of the New Dawn ECD Centre at Keetmanshoop on Friday.
The centre is located in the Ileni residential area and was built by the Anglo American Foundation at a cost of N.dollars 1.2 million. It has four classrooms, an office, toilets, kitchen, veranda and ablution block.
Witbooi said it is widely acknowledged that children who have gone through ECD programmes tend to perform better at school than their peers who have not.
“Their ability to attain their full potential is directly related to the complementary effect of good health, care, stimulation and development,” the deputy minister said.
She further stated that it is important for each nation to invest in early childhood development for children at an early stage because it has a long-lasting impact on cognitive development and has also been proven to contribute to a reduction in early teenage pregnancies, violence and drug abuse.
Witbooi said such services are in demand, although much needs to be done to increase access and improve the quality of the services.
“Proper training of ECD caregivers is one of the main factors in ensuring sufficient quality,” the deputy minister said.
Witbooi further said early childhood development is everyone’s responsibility, adding that the government, private sector, communities and parents should all play their role in investing in the development of the Namibian child.
“To stimulate, educate and develop a child requires ECD centres to be supported with sufficient materials and equipment. It is also imperative to have skilled personnel to take care of the children,” she added.