Child development actors have advocated for the allocation of workplace spaces for nursing mothers to feed their babies.
Contributing to a discussion on the draft Revised Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Policy Framework in Kumasi, Ms. Inna Saudatu Mohammed, Nutritionist, said mothers do not always have to be away work to feed their babies.
She said the children, who were still breastfeeding their mothers, needed frequent feeding to ensure their holistic growth.
“It is important that various offices allocate places where these mothers can breastfeed their babies when needed without having to interfere with their work schedules,” noted the nutritionist.
Ms. Mohammed and other stakeholders, who raised the concerns at the zonal ECCD policy consultation workshop, also called for the extension of maternity leave for new mothers.
Public health official Ms Vida Nyarko said an extension of maternity leave would allow new mothers enough time to care for their babies, saying babies at this tender age needed a lot attention.
Among other things, the stakeholders called for the intensification of education and training to build the capacities of early childhood stakeholders.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare organized the program to solicit input from individuals and organizations directly involved in the implementation of the ECCD policy at regional and district levels.
This is to facilitate the review of the policy.
The meeting also served as a platform for stakeholders to contribute to strengthening the validity of the emerging ECCD policy, its relevance in practice and the prospects for successful implementation.
The ECCD policy focuses on preparing children, from birth to age eight, to face life to the full.
It covers care for pregnant women, health, care, education and development of children.
An evaluation commissioned by the Ministry of Gender with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund in 2019 found that the policy needed revision.
In 2021, the department began the policy review with a team to re-establish a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the policy.
The review process involved a roadmap, technical workshops, production of a policy framework, validation workshops and submission of a project.
Ms. Florence Ayisi Quartey, Director of the Children’s Department, said that although there have been notable achievements in the areas of health, early education and nutrition, the policy is gradually becoming invisible.
This was due to the lower priority given to the policy to accelerate the integrated efforts of stakeholders and insufficient resources, among others.