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ERIC Number: EJ810067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-7187
Early Childhood Development Policy and Programming in India: Critical Issues and Directions for Paradigm Change
Sharma, Adarsh; Sen, Rekha Sharma; Gulati, Renu
International Journal of Early Childhood, v40 n2 p65-83 2008
The critical importance of the early childhood years and the rights perspective to human development has made policy and programming for early childhood development an imperative for every nation. In India, poverty, changing economic and social structures resulting in the breakdown of traditional coping mechanisms and family care systems, and the disparity between the rich and the poor place a large number of children "at risk". Early childhood interventions become a pre-requisite in such contexts to mitigate the effects of deprivation and disadvantage and improve life chances, particularly of children from underprivileged and marginalized environments. The present paper uses documentary analysis and literature review to trace the evolution of early childhood development policy and programming in India, describes changing perspectives in planning and, after a critical analyses of the situation of children and programming for children in the country, discusses paradigm shifts that need to be made as the way forward to ensure the well-being of the young child in India. In keeping with international developments, the approach towards planning strategies related to Early Childhood Development (ECD) in India has, over the years, evolved from "Welfare" to "Development" to "Rights". The Constitution of India and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) have been the guideposts for planning but achieving synergy across varied sectors catering to different facets of the child's development has remained elusive. This is reflected in the poor mortality, morbidity and education indicators with respect to the young child. A major reason for this stems from the ambivalent status of ECD in India--while national documents recognize it as the foundation for all other initiatives, these are not backed by resource allocation and political will to provide quality ECD for all. The country's planning processes need to make paradigm shifts in child development strategies and policies to lead to re-designing of interventions. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
OMEP: Organisation Mondiale pour l'Education Prescolaire. Goteborg University, Department of Education, Box 300, Goteborg, SE-40530, Sweden. Tel: +46-317-732461; Fax: +46-317-732391; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India