Parenting education to narrow gap in child care and protection

On the morning of July 2, 2021, the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) in collaboration with Nam Dinh provincial Women’s Union held a consultation workshop on building a national program on parenting education and suggesting solutions to improve the quality of child care and development of children at pre-school age.
VWU Vice President Tran Thi Huong speaks at Seminar

According to statistics of the Ministry of Education and Training, currently, only 28% of children under 36 months old go to pre-schools nationwide. In industrial and processing zones, the pre-school system only provides care and education for 44.4% of the needs; 55.6% of children are being babysat at home or in home-based groups of under 7 or in independent private groups/classes whose quality is not guaranteed and regulated.

Speaking at the workshop, VWU Vice President Tran Thi Huong shared that child care, education and protection was an important task and responsibility of the political system, families, schools and the whole society. In particular, families always play a key role and a decisive factor in children development. However, according to the Vice President, there are still many issues on the care and development of children, especially children in the first years of life such as limited parenting knowledge and skills of parents; limited access to child care services, information and knowledge of parents in ethnic minority and remote areas, parents in industrial and processing zones; gaps in mechanisms and policies to support parents and families in child care and education and their implementation, etc.

Necessity to develop a national program on parenting education

At the workshop, the participants identified the importance to develop a national program on parenting education because of the increase in violence against children and child abuse, remaining child injury, especially child deaths from drowning accidents, and uncontrolled law violation among children. The situation is caused by parents’ ignorance of child care and inadequate parenting knowledge and skills. Therefore, the national program on parenting education would be necessary to improve the parenting capacity, thus facilitating children’s progress and development.

Representatives of State and Party agencies in Nam Dinh attend Seminar

Participants suggested that the National Parenting Education Program should focus on parents with children aged 0 to 16 years, especially those from 10 to 16 due to significant physical and psychological changes during these ages. Parents should be equipped with knowledge and skills to care for and protect their children at each stage of development, especially knowledge of infant and puberty care and knowledge about friendship and love to support and share with their children. The cross-sectorial coordination is also identified to be important and necessary to effectively implement the Program.

Insufficient kindergarten system in industrial zones

According to the representative of Nam Dinh Department of Education and Training, kindergartens do not have after-hour child care and accept children under 12 months old. As such, during working hours, many female workers have to send their children to private children's groups or family-based groups which do not meet the requirements in facility and teacher quality and lack the supervision of local authorities. In some cases, female workers have to stay at home for child care, leading to the shortage of labor force.


Kindergartens wanted by workers and employers in industrial and processing zones

Therefore, it is necessary to speed up the construction of pre-schools, cultural centers and health centers in industrial zones and formulate regulations on the establishment and operation of pre-schools in industrial and processing zones; encourage enterprises and organizations to establish non-public pre-schools; increase authority and community supervision over independent private groups to avoid unfortunate cases; and enhance professional training for preschool teachers.


Vietnam Women’s Newspaper – Translated by VWU International Relations Department