Mrs Lariba Zueweira Abudu, Minister Designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has called on stakeholders to intensify efforts in securing a good start for all children in their formative years.
She said it was imperative for them to reconsider their actions in response to the needs of young children aged zero to eight, with renewed commitment.
Mrs Abudu made the call at the launch of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Communication Package and 'I Will' Campaign in Accra.
The Campaign is an ECD initiative that seeks to promote the integrated concept of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD),
The Campaign an intiative that seeks to promote the integrated concept of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), bringing together various aspects such as health, nutrition, protection and safety, inclusion, responsive caregiving, early stimulation and learning.
It also ignites renewed commitment among parents, guardians and other stakeholders towards desirable caregiving behaviour that guarantees optimal development of children in their early childhood period, from zero to eight years.
Mrs Abudu said ECCD had offered an opportunity for stakeholders "to make a difference" in the lives of children aged zero to eight by ensuring that their parents and caregivers were provided with quality essential services, opportunities and support tegrated programmes and
at despite the progress made in Survival, protection and development, a number of children remained underdeveloped in the physical, cognitive, psychosocial and language domains.
The Minister Designate attributed it to factors including poor health and nutrition, inadequate stimulation and learning opportunities, exposure to violence and abuse, poverty, discrimination and neglect.
"I am happy to announce to you that in a few months' time, Ghana will have a revised policy with set priorities and strategies for advancement of ECCD implementation." Mrs Abudu said.
She encouraged all stakeholders to integrate the campaign into existing child protection, health, nutrition and education programmes^ for effective implementation and maximum impact.
Madam Francisca Oteng Mensah, Chairperson for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender and Children, said the Committee had been at the forefront of ensuring that children-related issues were addressed through legislation and consideration of proposals that affected children.
She said the Government in its commitment to the well-being of its youngest citizens had over the years prioritised their issues as a national developmental agenda through the^ establishment of relevant institutions such as the Gender Ministry, other child-related Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Chairperson added that the enactment of laws and policies on children, various Government initiatives and programmes for children all showed its commitment to them.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Service (GHS), in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Isabella Sagoe Moses, Deputy Director, Family Health Division, said the period from pregnancy to age two, the first 1000 days of life was the foundation for health, well-being, learning and productivity throughout a person's life.
He said during that period, caregivers played an essential role in supporting the child's healthy brain development through stimulating and reciprocal interactions that built learning.
"We also know that the losses in brain development due to poor experiences in the first three years of life could not be fully recovered in life," he added.
Professor Kwasi Opoku- Amankwa, Director General, Ghana Education Service (GES), stated that experiences and relationships were central to how a child developed and in the first eight years, a lot of learning was normally achieved through play
He said it was imperative for community members to pool their resources to provide the required positive environment, with appropriate, safe and healthy facilities for the holistic development of the future generation.
Mr Ramesh Bhusal, Officer-in-Chief, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), called for collaborative efforts of stakeholders including caregivers, and the public to support the implementation of the Campaign to be successful.
He urged families and communities to adopt positive behaviors and be good role models for the investment in children to contribute to increased outcomes across all sectors of life.
Mr Ramesh commended Government commitment to nurturing developing well-being every Ghana.