Early Childhood Education (ECE) plays a pivotal role for every child's development. Abundance of evidence from psychology and education highlights that early stimuli given to children in ECE centers will have a positive impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and moral development. Potentially, they will also have good academic achievement in the future.
ECE also has an essential role in the development of a nation. Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) that aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” specifically includes equal access for all boys and girls to quality ECE as an indicator. This signifies a global orthodoxy viewing ECE as a crucial element ensuring the development of a nation.
In Indonesia, there have been various strategies developed to increase both access and quality of ECE. By law, ECE in Indonesia is defined as “educational efforts since birth to six years of age by giving stimulus for children’s physical and emotional growth and development to prepare them for further education” (Law Number 20/2003 on the National Education System). To ensure its quality provision and delivery, the Indonesian government formulated national standards for early childhood education, encapsulated in the Minister of Education and Culture Regulation, Republic of Indonesia, Number 137/2014. The government has also established the Directorate of Family Education and SEAMEO Regional Centre for Early Childhood Care & Education and Parenting (CECCEP) to address the significance of parenting in supporting ECE. Recently, as a token of commitment to the Global 2030 Education Agenda, the government made a breakthrough initiative by launching a year of compulsory pre-primary education for all children in the country (Presidential Regulation Number 59/2017).
Despite the global and national commitments to expand quality early childhood education, in reality there are various challenges in ECE as well as parenting that need addressing. Bearing this in mind, a study forum is needed to discuss global and national issues surrounding Early Childhood Education and Parenting (hereafter referred to as ECEP). The study, showcased in this proceeding expected to provide input to the Indonesian government as well as ECEP practitioners and academics.