Argentina’s Joint Programme (JP) for Integrated Social Protection has been focused on assisting the government to implement its National Early Childhood Strategy and strengthen childcare services at the national and subnational levels.
Over the first six months of the programme progress has been made. The Steering Committee, Technical Committee, and Communication Team have been set-up. An agreement has been established to update early childhood educational and care services databases, and ensure coordination between UN partners and government agencies. Political and technical dialogue has been initiated in three provinces to devise a strategy for strengthening care workers’ skills. Studies have been created to assess employment conditions in the early childhood care sector.
The JP has also repurposed up to 20% of funding for COVID-related activities. UNICEF has completed an impact assessment of COVID-19 on households with children and adolescents. UNDP, ILO, ECLAC conducted studies evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on care workers are in progress. Consultants have been hired to support the Ministry of Health in efforts to combat children’s exposure to violence and sexual abuse in the context of the lock-down. Despite the pandemic, Argentina has led a successful launch to its JP.