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Improving knowledge and skills of parents to ensure child development


To ensure that young children are developed physically, intellectually and spiritually and have equal access to comprehensive development care support services, the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs is improving the knowledge and skills of parents and caregivers.

Speaking at the launching of the Integrated Early Childhood (IECD) Holistic Parenting Scale-up Program on September 28, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said that integrated child development in the first years of life has become the goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that Vietnam has committed to implement.

Vietnam is the first country in Asia and the second in the world to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, the country has issued rights and principles to ensure the implementation of children's rights, such as the 2013 Constitution and the 2016 Law on Children.
The Program on the comprehensive development of children between 2018-2025 has been implemented, helping the country to be among 69 countries that issued a national master plan on the issue.
"Guiding parenting skills are essential to achieving the best development for every child. Parents need to be provided with knowledge and skills on children's education at their early age, help children develop physically and shape their personality," she said.
Lesley Miller, the Vice Head Representative of UNICEF Vietnam, said although being a parent is the toughest and the most rewarding job, many people lack the appropriate knowledge and skills to ensure their young children live, learn and grow up in a nurturing and caring environment.
She emphasised that this challenge is even harder for parents from poor, rural, or mountainous areas or those who have migrated from their extended families to find work.
The IECD Holistic Parenting Program is built upon achievements from the pilot period, which was assessed as a success in building up parents' knowledge and skills to improve children's wellbeing, cognitive, social and emotional development in communities and through the workplace.
Le Hong Loan, head of UNICEF Vietnam's Children Protection Office, said the Program was piloted in 27 communes across the provinces of Điện Biên, Gia Lai and Kon Tum and several companies in HCM City between 2019-2021.
The program, jointly implemented by UNICEF, MOLISA, VCCI and Generali, helped improve parenting skills such as health care, nutrition, early-learning stimulation, communication with children and non-violent discipline to more than 10,000 parents.
The Program trained 13 lecturers and 130 guides to organise group activities for parents to discuss experiences for two hours each session.
In the next three years, the Program will be expanded to 15 cities and provinces, targeting about 276,000 parents of young children. In addition, the Program will organise several online training programmes and develop a set of books on parenting skills.
According to experts, three factors should be focused on to achieve the Program's success. They are; commitment and investment from local authorities, departments and women unions in 15 cities and provinces; effectiveness and skills of trainers and facilitators who will support parents to improve their parenting skills; and collaboration among key sectors and agencies, including social welfare, health, education and mass organisations.