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HI Chioma, actually, quite the opposite! Early Grade Literacy is a huge issue in the region, with some Pacific Island countries struggling with literacy rates in primary, and very few books in mother tongue. The books I mentioned in the above comment are for activities happening this year and next, with the goal to bring some books in vernacular into ECCE centers and parents' hands where none currently exist. But, books in general, especially those in mother tongue and appropriate for ages 5 and under, are very rare. Especially in the more disadvantaged areas, the culture of oral language (as well as oral instruction) is strong, and one challenge is to share the value of books.

HI Chioma,

Every country is different! For example, UNICEF will be developing children's books with key messages for parents and children to share together in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. One child care center in Suva, Fiji has "adopted" some squatter communities, and provides mobile kindy with them. UNICEF supported Tuvalu to translate some early reader books into vernacular and share with ECCE centers. A big challenge is access for teachers to professional development and training; there are some ideas brewing!

Regarding natural disasters, etc - ideally, we can support governments to provide infrastructure standards that are quality, resilient, yet also meet communities' needs; Federated States of Micronesia are drafting their policy revision, which includes 2 options for center structure and WASH facilities - meeting community and environmental needs (still in draft form). We have some ideas, but it is related to supporting minimum quality service standards, and funds for ongoing monitoring.

HI Chioma! One of the purposes of PRC4ECCE is to raise awareness for the Pacific Islands region. Most ECCE programs are community based and led; we are trying to raise government awareness of the importance of investing in ECD, as well as encouraging them to take more active roles in providing quality assurance and oversight. Each of the 13 countries has different challenges and are at different levels of ECCE systems building (existence of ECCE policy and whether it is being implemented, monitored; curriculum; teacher training; etc). It ranges from 1 country with a national ECCE curriculum and actively registering ECCE centers, with 3 certificate/diploma ECCE training options, to 1 country that has 225 centers that they know of, but only 46 have been visited by government and only 20 of those were registered. Challenges across the region include: poor funding; distance between islands, and access - for teachers to access training, for children and families to access services; the high cost of implementation (costs of travel for monitoring, cost of importing infrastructure and materials that cannot be sourced locally, even from provincial centers and the capitals). A big issue is also is climate change; since I arrived in 2012, off the top of my head Fiji had 2 cyclones and flooding in 2012 and flooding in 2013, Samoa had a cyclone and flooding in 2012, Tonga had a cyclone in 2013, Solomon Islands had an earthquake and small tsunami in 2013 and flooding in 2014; plus, Kiribati is dealing with severe overcrowding on their main islands while people have left the outer islands due to flooding and loss of land from sea rise. I could go on, but this is a little taste, and gives you an idea of the many vast challenges the region faces.
I am happy to answer any questions, provide any examples..... let me know what you would like me to comment/add!