Senator Win Gatchalian has filed a bill that will ensure the alignment of basic education curriculum and early childhood education (ECEd) to strengthen the learning continuum.
Senate Bill No. 2029 amends Republic Act (RA) No. 10410 or the Early Years Act of 2013 to address challenges hounding ECEd in the country. To ensure that children who enter Kindergarten have been taught the necessary skills and essential learning competencies, the proposed measure seeks to align the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Curriculum with the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum.
Currently, RA No. 10410 provides the legal framework for ECCD, but major problems exist. Gatchalian said some of the problems include the inequitable delivery of ECCD services due to the decentralization of the ECCD system and the dependence of the ECCD’s quality of service on the financial and budget framework, resources, and political will of the local government unit (LGU).
“LGUs should be held more accountable, but at the same time, they should also be supported and capacitated to perform their mandate, especially the poorest municipalities,” Gatchalian said.
LGUs will be mandated to provide facilities and augment resources for the implementation of ECCD programs. They shall also establish or convert existing daycare centers to child development centers (CDCs). The proposed measure also provides that there shall be at least one national CDC in every city or municipality. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), there are 65,424 CDCs in the country as of January 31, 2023, and there were 1,260,707 young children enrolled in CDCs during SY 2021-2022, or just around 11% of the estimated population of children aged 0-4 years old.
Early childhood education is crucial in the development of young children, said Gatchalian, citing a study that early childhood education and development influences later student performance, where Grade 4 learners who were able to often perform early literacy and numeracy activities with their parents before primary school scored higher in mathematics and science compared to those who were not.
Gatchalian further said that equitable ECEd is also an effective strategy for promoting economic growth, as it can narrow early achievement gaps for children from disadvantaged settings and teach fundamental skills needed for the workforce.