The MOEHE, MOH and MOSD have worked with all concerned partners to develop the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development and Intervention in the State of Palestine for the period 2017-2022, seeking to offer better survival and development for all Palestine children in this age group with the aim of ensuring early detection of children with developmental delays and disabilities and intervention, conducting continuous monitoring of growth and development in all domains such as sensorial, physical, emotional, social and cognitive and providing holistic , inter-sectoral and comprehensive set of interventions that includes health, nutrition, education and protection – all of which are instrumental for healthy brain development.
Characteristically in the Palestinian society, the number of children in the age group 0-8 years is around 800,000, accounting for about 17% of the population. They are the human capital and the future of national liberation and development in Palestine. It is their right, by law and in human rights conventions, to receive health care and education and be protected from all sources of violence. It is widely acknowledged that interaction of hereditary and environment factors has profound and extended effects on all aspects of child growth. Hence in view of the fact that Palestinian children face numerous problems in the health, education and social protection and that the available care is deficient and incomplete, it becomes necessary to implement real work plans and effective care programs addressing all children and their families, particularly in the most affected and most marginalized areas.
According to the legal and scientific bases of this strategy and its guiding principles, this is the responsibility of all legislative and executive powers, local and community authorities, the private sector, media outlets, NGOs, UN agencies and families. Everybody ought to recognize the importance of early childhood care, the benefit of positively investing in this sector and giving it priority at the national level, and the need to allocate the required funding to do so. Proper care will help us to address all aspects of development challenges in the future.
This strategy focuses on providing the conducive conditions to ensure the best possible start in life. Everybody is required to change their response to children in this early age, make reforms, close the gaps, and prioritize their respective work to respond to children and their families and achieve positive ECD outcomes. To achieve this overarching goal, the five strategic objectives should be achieved, making services available to all children, providing high quality, sustainable and meaningful care, supported by modern policies and legal regulations, and providing evidence on progress towards these objectives through a sound, documented monitoring and evaluation system. All of this will require collective efforts and compliance to commitments set out in this strategy.