Under the auspices and presence of Her Excellency the Acting Director-General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ms. Randa BouHamdan, the Higher Council for Childhood at the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs announced the launch of the National Group for Early Childhood Development in Lebanon on May 16, 2023.
The Secretary-General of the council, Ms. Rita Karam, stated during the first meeting of the National Group at the ministry headquarters that an expanded technical committee emanating from the Council will be formed thereafter. This committee will include Early Childhood Development representatives from the public and nongovernmental sectors as well as academic institutions. Karam also presented, alongside Ms. Ghada Mansour, the coordinator of the “Early Childhood Program” in the Council, the main axes that the “national group” will work towards updating and launching the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development in Lebanon, with the Higher Council as the main national reference for working on this strategy.
For her part, BouHamdan called on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs for the cooperation between ministries and agencies working in the development, care, and education of early childhood when approaching their joint multi-sectoral work.
This meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Social Affairs, Public Health, Education and Higher Education, the Federation of Private Educational Institutions, the Syndicate of Specialized Nursery Owners, the Syndicate of Nursery Owners, UNICEF, and the Arab Network for Early Childhood Development (ANECD).
Furthermore, the Ministry of Social Affairs, through its Higher Council for Childhood, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arab Network for Early Childhood Development to move forward in supporting the work of the National Group under the supervision of the coordination team. ANECD’s General Coordinator Dr. Ghassan Issa emphasized the importance of partnering with the Higher Council for Childhood as a founding member of the network himself, with the aim of following up the action plan for Early Childhood issues in Lebanon and the Arab region. Therefore, Lebanon will be present at the official level to keep pace with the Arab and regional activities in approaching early childhood issues.