Save the Children on Tuesday said it will hand over the results of a three-year project on strengthening early childhood care and development to the government on Thursday.
The project includes seven newly constructed pre-school buildings in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces.
A press release said that Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Choun Naron would preside over the handover ceremony, with representatives from the ministry, the World Bank and NGO partners in attendance, as well as Pursat provincial governor Mao Thonin.
The three-year project focused on 137 communities in the Tonle Sap lake and surrounding floodplains across Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces, it added.
The project aimed to improve access to quality early childhood care and development (ECCD) services through community and home-based programmes for children aged up to five years old, particularly those most vulnerable.
“All young children – regardless of where they live or their background – need nurturing care to ensure healthy cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.
“This need would have started from the time they are developing inside their mother’s wombs and continue through their early childhood years,” the press release said.
Save the Children country director Elizabeth Pearce explained that providing ECCD services to young children in their early years in rural, remote and hard to reach areas helps to ensure equitable and inclusive education and enables life-long learning.
ECCD produces lasting benefits for children and society, including increased intellectual and health outcomes, improved skills, abilities and productivity, as well as reduced poverty and inequality.
“Children living in the communities in and around the Tonle Sap lake are some of the least likely in Cambodia to have access to quality early childhood services.
“And they are also more likely to experience malnutrition and difficulty accessing quality health services, clean water and sanitation.
“In addition to the construction of seven new pre-school centres, we helped local schools and communities establish 33 pre-school classes in primary schools and community centres,” she said.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport spokesman Ros Soveacha welcomed collaboration from all relevant parties in contributing to the ministry’s reforms.
“The implementation of the floating community pre-school project is supported by the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development, and the Education Strategic Plan 2019-2023,” Soveacha said.