- The Dubai Declaration on Early Childhood Development, initiated by Dubai Cares in partnership with UNICEF and MOFAIC, served as one of the building blocks for the Tashkent Declaration on Early Childhood Care and Education that will set the international agenda for early childhood education until 2030
- Dubai Cares participated in a series of high-level sessions and bilateral meetings at the conference to promote Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as global priorities with far-reaching economic gains
Dubai Cares, a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, recently participated at the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) that took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 14-16 November 2022.
Hosted by the Republic of Uzbekistan and organized by UNESCO, the World Conference on ECCE aims to reaffirm the right of all children to quality early childhood care and education, by renewing commitment to and investment in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 4.2, which calls for ensuring that “all girls and boys have access to quality Early Childhood Development (ECD), care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”.
The UAE-based global philanthropic organization’s participation in the World Conference on ECCE stemmed from its long-standing commitment to promoting ECD as one of the most crucial aspects of children’s holistic development. The organization has been a vocal global advocate of quality ECD and has invested in a number of ECD and ECCE interventions and research since its inception in 2007, with the aim of promoting and facilitating the provision of quality, evidence-based services for young children and their caregivers to support the children’s learning and school readiness.
Dubai Cares has supported ECD and ECCE programs in 16 countries to date, positively impacting the lives of over 4.5 million beneficiaries, with a total investment of AED 155,362,648 (USD 42,292,813). The organization has successfully implemented these programs in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, The Gambia, India, Jordan, Kiribati, Laos, Malawi, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vanuatu.
Dubai Cares participated in a number of high-level sessions and meetings to highlight its continued efforts to promote ECD, with the Dubai Declaration on Early Childhood Development, launched by Dubai Cares in partnership with UNICEF and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) in 2019 at the World Government Summit in Dubai, serving as one of the building blocks for the Tashkent Declaration on Early Childhood Care and Education. Unveiled on the last day of the event, the Tashkent Declaration on ECCE provides guiding principles and strategies for transformational ECCE based on: providing equitable and inclusive quality ECCE services for all, strengthening the ECCE workforce and extending support to caregivers, enabling innovation to advance transformation and implementing effective and comprehensive polices, governance and finance.
“The World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education represents a historic moment in mobilizing collective global efforts towards advancing ECCE, which is one of the most critical aspects of children’s healthy growth and development. The Dubai Declaration on Early Childhood Development serving as one of the building blocks for the Tashkent Declaration on ECCE is a clear reflection of the UAE and Dubai Cares’ commitment to continuously investing in ECD and ECCE as one of the most effective ways to nurture a strong generation that has received the right care and education during early years,” said His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares.
Dr. Al Gurg’s interventions included a panel discussion on “Acting Towards a Transformative and Forward-looking ECCE Curriculum for Lifelong Learning” hosted by UNESCO-International Bureau of Education (UNESCO-IBE). In the session, he noted that fragmentation within the broader education space leads to inequalities in accessing quality ECCE services, hindering children’s holistic development. He added that philanthropies and global agencies must show support and showcase interventions that can generate evidence and inform policies on how high-quality innovative and impactful ECD and ECCE programs can be efficiently implemented in ways that respond to contextual needs, capacities, and priorities.
He also highlighted that the first win-win solution offered by the “Rewiring Education for People and Planet” report, which Dubai Cares unveiled recently at the Transforming Education Summit at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, calls for an expansion of early childhood programs to end poverty, given that quality ECD programs have the potential to boost individual adult earnings by almost 25%.
Dr. Al Gurg also spoke in a session hosted by BRAC and Plan International on the topic “Alternative Models of ECCE Provision”, where he highlighted that ECCE is integral to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal 4. He noted that Dubai Cares’ support for ECD over the years has been focused on identifying innovative, adaptable and scalable solutions that will help further promote access to quality ECD services to even the most marginalized children.
In addition, Dr. Al Gurg joined a high-level session on “Inclusion, Quality and Well-being” hosted by UNICEF in the presence of over 70 ministers of education and 2,400 delegates. During the discussion Dr. Al Gurg emphasized on the importance of the sector coming together to transform ECD, which is the foundation of lifelong learning. He reiterated that ECD and ECCE have always remained a priority for Dubai Cares with the organization supporting the thematic through impactful in-country programs, research and global advocacy.