The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on October 27 formally inaugurated four day-care centres for the children of factory workers in Kampong Speu province.

Education ministry secretary of state Kim Sethany who presided over the inauguration of the centres said the protection and development of young children played an important role in providing a strong and indispensable foundation for human resource development. This was best achieved via integrated multidisciplinary practices, she added.

Citing recent research, she said children who received positive care services and went through kindergarten classes attended primary school successfully, without having to repeat grades or drop out of school.

“From birth to three years is the period when parents and caregivers of young children need to provide enough nutrition for brain cells to develop, because in this early stage, nearly 70 per cent of a child's brain cells are formed,” she added.

She added that 90 per cent of the brain is formed by the age of five. Its growth is the determining factor for the development of knowledge, intelligence and other attributes and abilities, including social skills, courage, patience and communication skills.

She said that other research confirmed that the skills developed in the first year of life and at pre-school age are often the determining factors for success or failure in school and subsequent study.