From 26 June to 1st July 2023, the Mtoto Kwanza project conducted training for 85 participants from key ECD Ministries- President Office- Regional Administration's and Local Government (PORALG), Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups (MOCDGWSGs), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and Prime Minister Office (PMO) and Regional Community Development Officers (RCDO), Regional Social Welfare Officers (RSWO), and representatives from Civil Society Organizations(CSO) across 16 regions in Tanzania Mainland on the Science of Early Childhood Development (ECD).
The training conducted in partnership with Aga Khan University Institute For Human Development- Nairobi, Tanzania ECD Network, Children in Crossfire, Union of Tanzania Press Clubs and the government of Tanzania. The goal of the training was to create an ECD workforce capable of supporting the implementation of the National Multi-Sectoral Early Childhood Development Programme (NM-ECDP) for the period 2021/22-2025/26. This initiative demonstrates a commitment to evidence-based practices and comprehensive support for early childhood development in the Tanzania.
The Deputy Secretary- President Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) in charge of Health, Social Welfare and Nutrition Dr. Wilson Mahera, has advised Social and Community Development Officers from sector ministries to improve and oversee the provision of early childhood care, development, and education services in the country.
Closing the training on Science of Early Childhood Development today, July 1st, 2023, in Dodoma, Dr. Mahera stated that the government recognizes the importance of empowering professionals who will drive greater investment in the quality upbringing and development of Tanzanian children.
Furthermore, he urged the officers to apply the knowledge gained in their respective areas of work to ensure that children aged zero to eight years receive quality care, nutrition, early learning, and safety for their well-being and the nation's prosperity. He emphasized that they should also demonstrate the difference they make before and after receiving the training.
"I would like to take this opportunity to urge the professionals who have undergone this training to utilize the knowledge gained in their work areas and become ambassadors in ensuring inclusive care for young children aged 0-8, including aspects of good health, nutrition, responsive caregiving, early learning, and protection and safety," emphasized Dr. Mahera.
Giving preliminary remarks before the keynote address, Sebastian Kitiku, the Director of the Child Development Department from the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Group explained that the government has developed a specific program- National Multi-Sectoral Early Childhood Development Programme (NM-ECD) 202/22-2025/26 to cater for children aged 0 to 8, focusing on five areas: good health, adequate nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving and opportunities for learning. "When research revealed that approximately 90% of human brain development occurs between the ages of 0 and 8, we decided to invest in the Childcare and Development Program. I believe that all professionals who have undergone this training will disseminate this knowledge in their respective districts to support the government's efforts in ensuring the nation's children reach their full potential."
During the conclusion of the training, Mwajuma Rwebangila, the Executive Director of the Tanzania ECD Network (TECDEN), and Frank Samson, the Representative of the Director from Children in Crossfire, urged the participants to utilize the knowledge gained to enhance childcare practices in the country and encouraged community involvement in inclusive parenting.
"After this training, each one of us will reflect on our own experiences and identify areas where we may have made mistakes or where we lacked in the stages of childcare. Traditionally, childcare has been based on routines, but I believe this education will help us bring about changes in parenting practices in the country and contribute to building a better nation," stated Mwajuma.