• Addina F

Early Childhood Development in Indonesia

Context: Demography Bonus in Indonesia

The demography bonus is when the number of people within the children and the productive age are higher than the number of older adults and children. Indonesia is expected to reach the demography bonus by 2030. In 2030, 30% of the population will be in the most productive age. A low dependency ratio will be the benefit to the economy because the majority of the population is expected to run the economy more efficiently. The demographic structure will open new windows of opportunity for Indonesian people to live more prosperously.

Based on the data from the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2017, about 33.5 million children are in the range of 0 - 6 years old. Those children will be in the productive age from 2030 to 2045.

Thus, make early childhood development could be one of the most reliable investments for the government to create a better generation. This generation will be the biggest asset for capital development in the future.

Current Condition of Early Childhood Development in Indonesia

The quality of Early Childhood Development (ECD) is the key to human development priority in Indonesia. The ECD Strategy by the government involves three main aspects. Those aspects play complementary roles in ensuring the growth and development of the children.

1. Maternal and Neonatal Child Health

ECD begins in the pregnancy state, maternal health, and neonatal health. Indonesian government provides Posyandu as the community-based service to ensure that children are healthy and safe in every phase of maternity.

Posyandu (Pos Pelayanan Terpadu) is an Integrated Health Post that provides a service of medical professionals to serve mothers and children, especially who are living in the village. Posyandu operates once to twice a month, and the programs include pregnancy monitoring, growth monitoring for newborns, immunization, and a child health monitoring.

The service aims to support people who can not afford private providers in hospitals.

2. Early Childhood Education

The Ministry of Education and Culture provides a service called PAUD (Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini) which means Early Childhood Education for the children from two to six years old.

The service provides learning activities for the children to prepare the children for primary school and to reach the specific goals, with the guide from trained and voluntary teachers. However, the service is the newest service among others, because of that, the service is still not equally deployed in the country.

3. Community Health Care Center

The Ministry of Health provides the Community Health Care Center service in the village called Puskesmas (Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat). The service is the primary health care facility that operates healthcare services and supported by public hospitals.

Puskesmas is a community-based service that is provided in each village in Indonesia with small numbers of doctors, nurses, and staff. The service is focused on health promotion, sanitation, nutrition, disease prevention, minor emergencies, and also supervised the Posyandu service mentioned before (point number 1). One of the aims of the service is to keep the community aware of the importance of family health in general.

The Early Childhood Education Service in Indonesia

PAUD is one of the primary components of ECD in Indonesia. The service is supervised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia. However, the stage of education for early childhood is still not mandatory yet in Indonesia.

PAUD (early childhood education service) is an educational service before primary education for young children until six years old to stimulate and to prepare their capacity to learn in primary school. This program can be done in the service center or home-based service. The service has a flexible teaching method and includes parent education in the curriculum. The service aims to provide a holistic-integrated early childhood development service that enables young Indonesian children to be healthy, intelligent, cheerful, and to have a good character.

As seen in the percentage above, about 53% of the villages in Indonesia are not facilitated with the Playgroup. Furthermore, around 9.9 million children under six are living in the villages without the service. The participation rate of the children is, even more, decreasing because of other factors, such as low-income family conditions, the mother’s education, and the low awareness regarding children's education. Therefore the government of Indonesia is making a target for 2019, in which each village in Indonesia should have at least one Playgroup. The minimum participants should be 20 children for 90% of the Playgroup.

Potential Strategy in the Future

The government of Indonesia believes that early childhood development is an essential investment for the future of Indonesia. The Ministry of Education and Culture created New Strategy for Early Childhood Development in Indonesia in 2017, and the strategy aims to fill the gap from the deficiency of the early childhood development service in Indonesia.

The Director of Early Childhood Development, Ella Yulaelawati stated that the main point of the strategy is to increase equality in early childhood development as a tool to achieve a better future for the children of Indonesia.

The issue was chosen because of the commitment of Indonesia regarding the quality of ECD, as well as how the problem is included in the agenda of the United Nations through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The government of Indonesia made a commitment through Presidential Decree Number 59 in 2017, that by 2030, the government ensures that all girls and boys in Indonesia should have access to the quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.

However, the Ministry of Education and Culture says that more than 20,000 villages do not have access to the Playgroup service. The government stated that early childhood education in rural areas is the key to reviving the potential of Indonesia. Therefore, the government started to focus on building more Playgroup in the villages. The Minimum Service Standard Target for 2019 is one Playgroup for one village. Furthermore, the government focus to encourage and facilitate child participation at an earlier age.

Other than that, the government also committed to set aside 8 - 10% of the yearly village funding for Community Empowerment and Community Coaching. The Community Empowerment and Community Coaching is a program to support the primary service (Playgroup), to increase and to educate the awareness from the community in the village regarding the importance of the early childhood education.

(AF, 2018)

Final Thesis Project

Politecnico di Milano