Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Development

Pacific Regional Council For Early Childhood Development (PRC4ECD)

Pacific countries and territories have joined together to ensure that all young children reach their full potential, so they can create a good future for themselves, their nation and the region.

PRC4ECD Background

At the 49th Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru in 2018, Pacific Forum Leaders committed to “leading a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach at the national level to address NCDs, childhood obesity and early childhood development (ECD)”.

In line with this mandate, Pacific countries established the Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Development(PRC4ECD) to guide and strengthen a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to ECD. The Council, comprised of Ministries of Finance, Education, Health and Social Welfare (or its equivalent), is a unique and high-level multi-sectoral body that fosters a collaborative and coordinated approach across governments, civil society, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders.

The adversity that children experience is complex: single sector solutions are insufficient. Coordinating across sectors and stakeholders has synergistic effects that results in improved development outcomes for young children.

PRC4ECD is the custodian of the 2017 Pasifika Call to Action on ECD, and provides support to countries to fulfill this action agenda for children.

PRC4ECD Structure

PRC4ECD has representation from each of the 15 Pacific island countries and territories: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The Council members are comprised of at least two Ministers - one from the Ministry of Finance,and at least one from the social sector (Ministries of Health, Education, and the Ministry responsible for Social Welfare). The Council is currently chaired by Hon. Ifereime Waqainabete, Minister of Health of Fiji.

The Steering Committee, which supports the full Council, is comprised of at least two Permanent Secretaries or CEOs- one from the Ministry of Finance, and at least one from the social sector (Ministries of Health, Education and Social Welfare) from each of the 15 countries and territories. The Steering Commmittee is currently chaired by Ms. Daniel Cochrane, Secretary of Education of the Cook Islands.

UNICEF Pacific is the Secretariat of the Council, in recognition of UNICEF’s mandate for the rights of children and its leading role in promoting ECD in the region.

Functions of PRC4ECD


Pacific Child logo

PRC4ECD has chosen the baby sea turtle as its symbol, as it represents both childhood and the Pacific community as a whole.

Turtles are considered sacred in many Pacific cultures, symbolizing longevity, wellness, and protection — all of which are intrinsic to the concept of early childhood development.

Turtles range widely across the Pacific. They are not associated with any single nation, and thus act as an inclusive symbol for the Blue Continent’s communities.

The baby turtle in the logo for the PRC4ECD reflects the vulnerability and fragility of early childhood. Just as baby turtles are vulnerable to nature’s elements as they make their way from their nest to the big Blue Pacific Ocean, young children of the region are also at a vital stage in their lives that has long-lasting impacts on their futures.

From the ages of 0 to 8 years, as their brains develop, the support given to young children is essential, impacting their well-being and productivity well into the rest of their lives.

In recognition of the various significances of the turtle in Pacific cultures and mythology, the PRC4ECD also recognises that the baby turtle has a goal - symbolised by newly added elements of the island and sunrise on the horizon - to survive and thrive as an important and vital part of our ocean ecosystem.

Similarly, the PRC4ECD has a goal for young children of the Pacific on the horizon - so that young children can build a resilient and prosperous future for themselves, their communities, and the Blue Pacific region.’