‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ (ECCE) policy instigated by the government of India aims to accomplish holistic development of children below six years of age. This has been informed by Lok Sabha. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, stated while replying to a query about the Centre’s reaction to a 2013-14 UNICEF Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC). The survey indicated that 34% and 25.6% Muslim and Christian children (below six years) respectively do not attend pre-school.
“The government has reaffirmed its commitment to promote early childhood care and education by formulating and notifying National Early Childhood Care and Education policy,” the Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) said. “The vision of the national ECCE policy is to achieve holistic development and active learning capacity of all children below 6 years of age by promoting free, universal, inclusive, equitable, joyful and contexualised opportunities for laying foundation and attaining full potential,” he added.
The ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ (ECCE) is one of the six free services that is provided through Anganwadi centres across the nation under the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme. ICDS scheme is one of the initiatives of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The ICDS scheme is universalised to cover 14 lakh habitations and about 3.50 crore children.