Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood
The Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) and the 2019 Annual Conference: Working across sectors to promote nurturing and sustainable environments for young children.
ARNEC is a network established to build strong partnerships across sectors and different disciplines, organisations, agencies and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region to advance the agenda on Early Childhood, with a particular focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, ARNEC is one of the most extensive and fastest growing networks for Early Childhood Development (ECD) in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides a platform for interaction and collaboration among ECD professionals from diverse sectors and professions ranging from practitioners, experts, government institutions and NGOs, as well as regional and global agencies and networks.
ARNEC hosts annual conferences and the 2019 conference (supported by UNICEF, UNESCO, the Open Society Foundations, Save the Children, Plan International and ChildFund International) was held in Hanoi, Vietnam from December 4th-6th. As outlined below, the conference theme incorporated multiple disciplines, including early childhood education; geography; governance and administration; health, nutrition and sanitation, and languages, culture and heritage.
The conference, titled ‘Working across sectors to promote nurturing and sustainable environments for young children’, brought together Ministers, parliamentarians and other high-level policy-makers, academics, practitioners and international and national NGO representatives. The conference focused on discussions around the quality of young children’s environments, and how environmental factors support or hinder young children’s health and well-being. The conference was organised around 4 sub-themes: Policy environments; Physical Environments; The Community Environment and the Home Environment.
Within each of these themes, global challenges associated with providing nurturing environments for young children across diverse social and geographic contexts were explored. Sessions provided opportunities for students to engage with practitioners and policy makers (including ‘high level’ policy round tables) in learning about and reporting on innovative approaches to overcoming some of these challenges at community, institutional and policy levels.