Queen Rania Visits Nursery at the Jordanian Royal Medical Services, Checks on NCFA

March 12, 2014

(Office of Her Majesty- Press Department- Amman) During a visit to the Jordanian Royal Medical Services' nursery, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah checked today on the recent achievements of the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) in early childhood development.

Funded by the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) and in line with the Early Childhood Development Strategy and the National Childhood Plan for 2004-2013, NCFA has been working on a comprehensive project that aims to develop services offered to children under the age of four years old.

As part of this project, NCFA plans to standardize ten nurseries in Jordan to serve as models that could be replicated across the Kingdom. The nursery which the Queen visited today was recently developed by NCFA as part of this project.

While checking on the nursery, Queen Rania listened to mothers and caregivers talk about the enhancement of services provided to children and infants and the manner in which they positively affected their physical and emotional upbringing.

Queen Rania also met with a number of the project's stakeholders and asserted the importance of partnerships such as the one between the NCFA and the AGFUND in helping to bring about positive change on the ground. Her Majesty then noted that recent studies have emphasized the importance of early childhood development and providing children with stimulating environments that help them develop their skills.

The Queen praised the Jordanian Royal Medical Services for their leading role in enhancing early childhood development practices in their nursery and expressed her hope that such efforts would be replicated in nurseries in private sector companies, an achievement that would be of tremendous support to working mothers and would ultimately increase the number of women participating in the labour force.

Director General of Royal Medical Services Major General Dr. Khalaf Al-Jader highlighted the importance of their partnership with NCFA which positively affected the level of services their nursery provides to 200 children.

Secretary General of NCFA Mr. Fadel Al Homoud presented a brief on the project's achievements which included developing national standards for establishing and licensing childhood centers as well as issuing national guidelines for caregivers in early childhood development.

NCFA has also worked on developing a manual for early childhood development pertaining to children under the age of four aiming for the benefit of the general public.. The manual can be found on the NCFA website.

In partnership with the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, NCFA has also trained 10 teachers who won the KG category of the Teacher Award on early childhood development methods. The trained teachers will in turn train other KG caregivers, sharing their own personal experiences with others and ultimately enhancing the quality of services being offered in as many childhood care centers around Jordan.

Dr. Suha Tabbal from NCFA described how the council released a guidebook that includes the set of skills children should be developing at certain stages in their development. She added that the council also devised a number of activities aimed at engaging children and improving their skills.

Mr. Hamada Abu Nejmeh, Secretary General from the Ministry of Labour, talked about the implementation of Article 72 of the Jordanian labour, a law which requires companies with at least 20 female employees with a total of 10 children under the age of 4 to provide adequate daycare facilities in the workplace under trained personnel.

Chairman of the King Abdullah Fund for Development (KAFD), Dr. Omar Razzaz, stated that the fund is currently working with NCFA to establish 100 new crèches at private sector companies in hopes to increase female labor force participation.

Also attending the meeting was the Hashemite University President Prof. Kamal Bani-Hani who said that the university was also working with NCFA to establish a nursery that is expected to care for 200 children of female employees.

The meeting was also attended by Director of Al Hussein Medical City Brigadier General Dr. Issa Khatatbeh, Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Development H. E. Mr. Omar Hamza, , Director of KAFD Qais Qatameen, Project Manager at KAFD Amjad Al-Attar, Ms. Randa Naffa'a from Sadaqa campaign, Head of Nursing section at Al Hussein Medical City Colonel Nawf Bdawi, Executive Director of the Queen Rania Al Abdullah Award for Excellence in Education Ms. Lubna Touqan, NCFA Deputy Secretary General Mr. Mohammad Miqdadi, and the Head of the National Employment Strategy Engineer Mohammad Shkeirat.