Bhutan Early Childhood Education and Development Association launched to unite ECCD centres

Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres first started in the country in 2005 as private daycare centres. However, for almost two decades, the ECCD centres functioned in silos. As a result, they were unable to bring uniformity to their setup. To unite the ECCD centres, the Bhutan Early Childhood Education and Development Association was launched in the capital today.

Proprietors of 50 ECCD centres across the country came together to launch the new association.

Until today, important aspects of ECCD centres, such as capacity building for facilitators and management, were often neglected.

Proprietors said that there had been no coordination to implement a uniform strategy to improve private ECCD centres.

“Until now, private ECCD centres have struggled to collaborate effectively. Despite sharing the same mandate of educating children, there has been a lack of uniformity and collaboration among them. Therefore, the reason for forming this association is to foster uniformity and collaboration among private ECCD centres,” said Jamtsho, president and founder of Bhutan Early Childhood Education and Development Association.

“We have encountered numerous challenges over the years, particularly in areas such as capacity building, programming, and the lack of awareness about available training opportunities. As individual proprietors, we had to bear all costs, including those for capacity building, training, seminars, and facilitators,” said Phub Lhamu, ECCD Centre Proprietor.

Proprietors are hopeful that the Bhutan Early Childhood Education and Development Association will address their challenges.

“There are numerous private and government ECCD centres, yet uniformity has been lacking, often working in different ways. Through this association, we aim to collectively address and resolve our doubts and challenges at the policy level,” said Damchoe, ECCD Centre Proprietor.

Meanwhile, at the launch, the Director General of the Department of School Education announced that starting next year, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for ECCD teachers will be introduced in the country.

Additionally, the Director General said that the 13th Five-Year Plan will prioritise the improvement of ECCD centres nationwide.

As of today, there are 64 private ECCD centres in the country.

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