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Starting Strong: Why Early Childhood Care and Development Matters in the Philippines

Written for the Second Congressional Commission on Education and based on existing research, this Policy Note investigates the connection between health and nutrition, early childhood education, and the underlying factors that hinder progress in early childhood care and development. It reveals low enrollment in prekindergarten schooling and an uneven distribution of early childhood schools across the country. To enhance access to early education, the authors urge the government to (1) sustain investments in capital and human resources, (2) explore innovative approaches to delivering early education, and (3) address demand-side challenges related to parental behavior in early education. The findings also highlight the persistent issues of stunting and wasting among Filipino children under the age of five, which adversely impact their cognitive, physical, and social development. Consequently, the authors recommend implementing comprehensive, convergent, and continuous health and nutrition services. 


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