Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg.
(photo credit: TAU)
MK Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Union) and Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee chairman Eli Alalouf (Kulanu) held the first meeting of the Knesset caucus that will deal with early childhood, in partnership with MKs Orly Levy-Abecassis (Yisrael Beytenu) and Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu), on Monday.
According to a report conducted at the request of Trajtenberg by the Knesset Research and Information Center, there are four different government ministries that are involved in the lives of children in Israel, in addition to the local authorities, health funds, women’s organizations, and other NGOs, and there is presently no coordination between them on the issue.
At the meeting, Trajtenberg and Alalouf presented a legislation that calls for the establishment of an early childhood council that would coordinate between the ministries and agencies that deal with the topic.
“Early childhood, from birth to entering school, is the most important key to reducing disparity and affording equal opportunities, and yet the state has been absent from dealing with the issue of early childhood and has avoided drawing coherent, organized policies for the sake of the children,” Trajtenberg said ahead of the meeting.
“There is a need, not just to solve the existing problems, but for a council that will connect between authorities and will outline serious policies,” he added.
Alalouf added, “Correct care in early childhood, including parental guidance, will contribute to reducing poverty in the medium-term and long-term.”
The opening session of the caucus was open to the public, marking the importance seen by its heads to include parents, educators, and other professionals involved in early childhood care and education.
The session included a roundtable discussion on the current and ideal state of early childhood policies, with representatives from organizations dealing with the issue, including “Tipat Halav” early childhood clinics, the Economy Ministry and the Israel Association for the Young Child.