In Mozambique, 61 percent of young children are at risk of poor development, with those living in rural areas at higher risk compared to those in urban areas. There is a need for laws, policies, services, and community support that better enable parents and caregivers to provide their young children with nurturing care to improve early childhood outcomes.
In collaboration with PATH and the Aga Khan Foundation, USAID Advancing Nutrition supported a Science of Early Childhood Development workshop for policymakers in Nampula province. The workshop raised awareness on the importance of leveraging existing services to reach caregivers of young children to promote holistic nurturing care practices. The event also highlighted how this kind of integrated programming can improve early childhood development outcomes in existing executive and civil society programs and projects across Nampula province.
The workshop brought together high-level provincial policymakers, including Mozambique’s Secretary of State, influential leaders from academia and government institutions, and district health directors from six districts in which USAID is supporting early child development interventions. These early childhood development champions are now better able to prioritize relevant actions across sectors and services, including maternal and child health, nutrition, social action, and urban planning to support their communities.
PATH and Aga Kahn are also conducting the Science of Early Childhood Development workshops with government actors in Cabo Delgado and Maputo provinces, which will further build momentum for improving early childhood education across Mozambique.
Following these workshops, USAID Advancing Nutrition in collaboration with other partners has leveraged the new awareness and momentum around early childhood development to advocate with district and provincial government to prioritize early childhood development in their annual budget and plans. For example, USAID Advancing Nutrition also supported a Science of Early Childhood Development workshop in Nacala Porto district that led to a collaboration between the health and education sectors for the manufacturing of toys that can be used at health facilities to promote responsive care activities and early learning.