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Cabinet Approves Policy to Protect Toddlers and Children from Childhood Development Abuse

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The Cabinet has considered and passed the Early Childhood Care and Education Policy for children aged 0-6 years. This policy focuses on revising fee rates for educational institutions, determining when educational institutions should commence studies, and outlining the type of content to be taught. It proposes that children aged 3 to 5 years old are eligible for nursery studies, while 6 years old is the proposed age for primary enrolment.

The adoption of this policy is envisaged to take effect 3 to 4 years later, though the Ministry of Education will develop clear guidelines on the way forward regarding its implementation. The decision has been informed by scientific evidence on human development during early childhood, considering the optimal time for learning to start and at what age.

Science reveals a positive correlation between early childhood education and better educational outcomes later in life. Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, stated that the regulations for a balanced education system will remain in place.

The Cabinet resolved that the implementation of the policy will be spearheaded by the private sector, but primary education will remain as it is, while the government will retain responsibility for regulating child healthcare. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi wondered why a 3 or 4-year-old child should go to school at 5 am, noting that sleep is crucial for supporting the development of young children.

These are the issues the policy aims to address, targeting caretakers and parents who are responsible for the upbringing of children.

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