The Framework Agreement for Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which was signed in 2014 states that areas of collaboration include information sharing and technical support on Early Childhood Care and Development. This bilateral agreement is categorized as ASEAN Socio-Cultural Cooperation. The ASEAN Early Childhood Care, Development and Education Quality Standards document covering childcare services for children aged 0-4 years old was published in 2017 while the UNICEF’s minimum standards document related to childcare services of similar age group children was published since 2008. Both ASEAN and UNICEF agreeably acknowledge that the ASEAN standards would be “a blueprint” of early childhood development plan for ASEAN member states. The first finding of the research is that the ASEAN standards require actions from states, service providers as well as families while the UNICEF standards require actions toward states’ legal support such as having labor law and regulations which entitle parental leave. Whilst the ASEAN standards depend on families and communities, the UNICEF standards aims to change social structure such as reducing child poverty rate for a long-term quality child development. Functionalism theory is applicable well in this research because as seen that ASEAN states alone will not be able to achieve such good quality of childcare services. UNICEF shares information and technical support to some extent. The future research might focus on possibility of creating ASEAN standards on parental leave and benefits which should be paralleled with the ASEAN Economic blueprints 2025.
Jitjuta Nicol, British Embassy in Beijing, China
About the Presenter(s)
Ms Jitjuta Nicol is a Civil Servant at British Embassy in Beijing in China
See this presentation on the full schedule – Sunday Schedule