ECA issues guidance manual regulating formulation of early childhood policies
The first of its kind in the UAE, and is unique in adopting Experimentation as a method for Policy Making
The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) has issued guidance manual regulating the formulation of early childhood-related polices by the government departments and entities in Abu Dhabi. The move comes within ECA’s efforts to create an integrated high-quality early childhood development system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and to set out a sustainable plan to find innovative solutions to challenges facing this important sector.
The manual is the culmination of ECA’s collaboration with Abu Dhabi Executive Office’s legal affairs department and over 20 government entities. By organizing an interactive workshop for those entities to share thoughts and experiences, ECA has developed a standardized framework for steps needed to formulate early childhood-related policies.
Using the promising practices in preparing the manual, ECA took into account the importance of activating the relevant authorities’ role in adhering to the manual and strengthening engagement with children to identify their needs. By conducting random experimentation during the initial phases of policies formulation, to embraced the most appropriate options and tools that could help stakeholders in formulating childhood-related polices.
ECA affirmed the manual is a reference for stakeholders, as it comprises the proposed phases for policy formulation process and its requirements. It also included a detailed explanation of each step of this process, supported by a checklist at the end of each step that captures the main activities. This aims at enhancing local capacities of relevancy to policy formulation, and providing policymakers with detailed, consistent, sustainable and effective tools and frameworks help them in formulating policies for early childhood development.
In addition to providing policymakers with an approach consistent with the promising global practices in formulate this sector’s policies, ECA seeks to ensure that early childhood-related policies are consistent, evidence-based, data-driven and compatible with Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Development Strategy 2035. ECA further strives to standardize terminology and approaches used by policymakers, to help achieving the desired results for young children in Abu Dhabi.
The manual also aims at ensuring compatibility with strategies and approaches for policy formulation at the emirate and the national level, detailing responsibilities, providing an approach about policy formulation focuses on engaging the main stakeholders, and promoting assessing policies outcomes to ensure constant improvement in government activities.
The manual’s issuance is part of ECA’s vision aims at giving Abu Dhabi’s children the best care in early childhood for their growth and development, to be equipped with the needed skills in preparation for future. It reflects ECA’s belief that providing care and education for young children is the best investment to prepare human resources capable of pushing forward the country’s comprehensive and sustainable development.
Early childhood is defined as the period from pregnancy to the age of eight years. This period encompasses the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children. In addition, the early childhood development mainly focuses on children health and nutrition, child protection, family support, and early care and education.