Saturday 16 October 2021 - 9:22:57 am

ECA's Takween’ Summer Programme 2021 aims skill development in children, parents

ABU DHABI, 18th July, 2021 (WAM) -- The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) has revealed details of ‘Takween’ Summer Programme 2021, featuring a variety of developmental, educational and recreational activities to be implemented in collaboration with various stakeholders.

The programme begins on Sunday and will continue until the end of this year, said an ECA press release on Sunday. It aims at utilising summer vacation to develop skills in children and parents, fostering parent-child interactions, and improving quality time children spend with their parents during holidays and vacations.

By organising several activities that focus on early childhood development (ECD), the programme also targets engaging and introducing all community members and institutions to the importance of the child’s early years.

In this regard, Thamer Rashid Al Qasemi, Executive Director of ECA’s Special Projects and Partnerships Sector, said, "Summer activities contribute to developing children’s abilities and skills during their early childhood, strengthening family cohesion, and improving the quality of comprehensive care provided by parents to children.

"Since the establishment of ECA, we have been keen to integrate summer activities into our multi-sectoral strategy, to be an integral part of our strategic approach based on knowledge, engagement and innovation. Through this approach, we seek to empower children and community by focusing on four sectors: health and nutrition, child protection, family support, and early care and education."

Al Qasemi added: "The multiplicity of developmental dimensions during early childhood requires consistency between multiple sectors. In addition, many international studies showed that intervention in one sector is not sufficient to achieve better outcomes. Therefore, we are keen on coordinating between relevant entities in all sectors to ensure consistency and complementarity of efforts."

He pointed out the four areas of ECA’s focus cover children’s all needs during early childhood, as well as promoting their development and well-being.

He further added that ECA seeks to utilise the great potentials provided by Abu Dhabi government entities, by aligning plans and programmes with the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Strategy 2035, to achieve the best outcomes for all children.

"All our activities ultimately aim at achieving ECA’s goals to ensure all children have the necessary personal foundations for healthy physical and social-emotional development and early learning; all children live in a stable and secure environment and are protected from harm and danger; and parents are confident and have the capabilities to support their children’s holistic development and well-being," Al Qasemi explained.

According to Al Qasemi, Takween programme will include issuing a rich set of parent guides developed in collaboration with major research institutions and ECD organisations. They will cover the most important maternal and child health-related topics from pregnancy to the age of eight. In addition, ECA will issue a guide for fathers to improve their parenting skills and highlight their vital role in promoting children’s development. These guides have been developed to suit various stages, including pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, crawling, pre-school and school age.

In coordination with stakeholders, Takween programme will feature the organisation of several workshops and sessions for parents and children covering the four areas of focus. Moreover, several interesting activities for children, parents and the whole community will be organised at a number of commercial centers in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra. This aims to reach out to the largest possible number of people, to raise public awareness about the importance of early childhood in shaping children’s personality, building their capabilities, and preparing them for the future.

Furthermore, Al Qasemi revealed ECA’s intention to launch a community initiative entitled Child Voice, which targets establishing a panel, bringing together a number of Abu Dhabi’s parents and children. The panel aims at maintaining constant communication with parents and children, enabling them to contribute to developing and testing solutions, discussing ECD-related topics, and making the voice of every child in the emirate heard.

Likewise, ECA plans to launch the "Dreamers" initiative, which aims at fulfilling wishes of some of Abu Dhabi’s children aged 0-8 years, collected during previous activities organised by the ECA.

"ECA intends to launch several awareness leaflets on some important ECD-related topics. The authority will promote a set of audio stories for kids, produced by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre at the Department of Culture and Tourism," said Al Qasemi.

ECA will issue six short stories for kids, to encourage parents to read stories with their children, make reading part of children’s daily routine, and motivate children to read, learn and stimulate their curiosity, he added.

Al Qasemi further noted that many contests, recreational and educational activities for children will be launched on ECA’s official social media channels as part of this year’s programme.

"ECA is keen, through these activities, on developing the knowledge of parents and children about the importance of play, especially movement, interactive and imagination games. Additionally, ECA will offer parents a set of simple home activities the child can implement with. These activities and contests will focus on an important topic each week," Al Qasemi stated.

Besides this, ECA will launch several publications highlighting the best solutions and recommendations to address some challenges facing parents and caregivers, he added.

ECA seeks to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development in Abu Dhabi’s ECD sector, by organising integrated developmental, educational and recreational programmes. These programmes are exclusively designed to improve parenting skills for parents and caregivers, to promote the development and wellbeing of young children.

Believing that children’s early care and education is the best investment for the future, ECA’s efforts are focused on giving the emirate’s children the best care they need, as well as equipping them with the necessary skills to achieve comprehensive development.

WAM/أ /Binsal AbdulKader