Save the Children's approach will ensure that in an emergency, early childhood programs begin with very basic levels of care, the creation of safe spaces for children, and organized play. While this may be sufficient for the most acute phase of an emergency, they will seek ways of doing more for young children in terms of a broader range of sustainable stimulation and educational services as conditions change. To address needs of children in this post-emergency context, they will provide options for more structured play and learning activities and links to health services, while working to forge partnerships between parents and local organizations and authorities.
Activities such as teacher and health facilitator training will take place, as well as activities designed to respond to and support young children's psychosocial health. All programming will address the needs of the most vulnerable children, will strengthen and build upon local infrastructure and services for young children, and will reflect the social norms of the children's culture. Parental support programs will also be implemented to help parents recover from their own trauma and address their own needs, so that they can provide or continue early childhood activities with children within their homes and daily lives.
Children in emergencies urgently need the resiliency and cognitive abilities that positive early childhood experiences can convey. This commitment seeks to improve the scope, scale and quality of early childhood programming in emergencies as well as the research related to, and documentation of, such programming.
Save the Children is a leader in Early Childhood Development (ECD) programming. Save the Children serves as as Co-Convener of the Early Childhood Care and Development in Emergencies Working Group. At the same time, through their role as Co-Convener of the Early Childhood Care and Development in Emergencies Working Group (EEWG), they are partnering with others who also serve young children and their families in emergencies to ensure children's critical needs are addressed. Networking with others in the domestic and international early childhood emergency response community, Save the Children is identifying and addressing gaps in knowledge, tool development, and advocating to move the issue forward in the broader educational and emergency response arenas.
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