Thursday, June 13, 2024

EDCOM 2 Calls For Increased Funding For Early Childhood Care Development


EDCOM 2 Calls For Increased Funding For Early Childhood Care Development


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The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) on Thursday called for increased public spending on early childhood care development (ECCD) and investing in services that significantly impact health, nutrition, and early education outcomes.

The call was made after a study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) showed severe underinvestment in ECCD, along with insufficient facilities and limited funding per child for health compared to other lower-middle-income countries.

In a statement, EDCOM 2 Executive Director Karol Mark Yee said government should follow the study’s suggestion that more resources should be allocated to influence ECCD spending of local governments.

He said other necessary actions needed to boost ECCD include investing in primary health care through the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act; reevaluating the implementation framework of government-led school feeding programs; and increasing the investment in health care workers to enhance their capacity to monitor mothers and children.

“We acknowledge the benefits of school feeding programs, but we need to start investing more deeply, and intervening, in the earlier years,” Yee said.

EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also noted that early childhood care and education should be a shared responsibility between education stakeholders and other members of the communities.

“Moving forward, local government units (LGUs) should also have more accountability in ensuring that the benefits of ECCD programs, including health and nutrition interventions, are felt by every Filipino child,” Gatchalian said in a separate statement.

The lawmaker has earlier said that LGUs should be heavily involved in ECCD programs because they are in a better position to implement those.

“The quality of ECCD services is highly dependent on the financial and budget framework, resources, and political will of the LGU,” he said.

PIDS, which published the study entitled “Behind the Slow Start: An Assessment of Early Childhood Care and Development in the Philippines,” is a research partner of EDCOM 2 that contributes to evidence-based policy recommendations by conducting research on the Commission’s priority areas. (PNA)