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Southeast Asian guidelines for early childhood teacher development and management


The international definition of “early childhood” is the period from birth to eight years of age. This period represents an absolutely critical stage of a person’s life: that is why ensuring that a child passes through this stage successfully requires integrated, comprehensive, and multi-sectoral support encompassing health, nutrition, education and protection, with a view to enhancing the child’s development and learning in a holistic manner.

Given this definition, early childhood care and education (ECCE) becomes not only a preparatory stage facilitating a child’s transition to formal schooling and an important determinant of eventual success at higher levels of education but also an essential factor in the broader context of social development, gender equity and poverty reduction. Several Southeast Asian countries, such as Myanmar, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, have adopted this international definition, while others use the age range of 0-to-5 or 0-to-6 years. 

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