National Plan for Early Childhood



The National Network for Early Childhood (RNPI)
ANDI – Communication and Rights

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The National Plan for Early Childhood (PNPI) is a technical and policy document designed to inform the decisions, investments, and actions adopted to protect and promote the rights of young children. The focus given to the first six years of life is consistent with the significance of this period to the entire life of the human being and serves to ensure the rights of the child are realized in accordance with the specificity and priority mandated by the 1988 Brazilian Federal Constitution (article 227).

The National Network for Early Childhood (RNPI) formulated this Plan in 2009-2010 to run through 2022. The time horizon was selected to coincide with Brazil’s bicentennial, while also including an additional associated objective: that when Brazil celebrated its 200th year as an independent, self-governing nation, with the sovereign power and responsibility to determine its own destiny and care for its people, it would have ensured all children the means to live a full childhood and develop their immeasurable human potential.

In 2010, we believed it imperative – and, sadly, still do today – that changes be enacted to the structures and tangible life and development conditions of millions of Brazilian children; that diligent and responsible focus be given to forgotten or ignored childhoods; that equity be promoted to reduce the disparities in access to health, nutrition, education and culture; that the lives of children be protected and valued regardless of economic status, ethnicity, race or geographic territory; that all children be ensured basic sanitation and a healthy environment… For neglecting, whether by omission, ignorance or dereliction, the time of childhood is a crime against children and society. Against children, because it denies them their fundamental rights; against society, because it perpetuates the wounds of a society disfigured by infant mortality, hunger, violence, abandonment, exclusion, racism, contempt, and disregard for the lives of disabled, Black, Indigenous and Quilombola children and those from rural and traditional communities and populations.

The National Plan for Early Childhood was developed with the broad participation of society, as expressly mandated by article 227, paragraph 7, of the 1988 Brazilian Federal Constitution, which provides for popular participation, through representative organizations, in policy formulation and oversight activities at all levels. Among the organizations participating in the development of the National Plan for Early Childhood were the component entities of the National Network for Early Childhood, institutions, foundations and research centers, scholars, experts, frontline technicians, and professionals in the field of children’s rights. In 2010, the National Network for Early Childhood was composed of 70 members, representing civil society, government, the private sector, as well as other established networks in Brazil and United Nations organizations (UNICEF, UNESCO and PAHO) dedicated to early childhood. Today, the National Network for Early Childhood has 250 affiliated organizations.

When the National Plan for Early Childhood was opened to public comment, a sizable number of suggestions were submitted. Following its approval by the National Council for the Rights of the Child and Adolescent (CONANDA) in December 2010, the document was introduced under the umbrella of the Ten-Year Human Rights Plan for Children and Adolescents to serve as a framework for addressing the specificities of early childhood.

Between the second half of 2019 and first half of 2020, the National Plan for Early Childhood was reviewed and updated by means of the participatory process described above. It was also broadened to reflect the expanding scope of the National Network for Early Childhood and the inclusion of the Brazilian Judiciary in the studies, discussions and proposals pertaining to early childhood. This culminated in the National Pact on Early Childhood, an effort led and coordinated by the National Justice Council (CNJ). The chapter titled The Justice System and the child examines the participatory process through which additional in-depth analysis and proposals on children and culture were offered. Also stimulating broader and more diversified social engagement was the decision to expressly include children in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the growing interest of the business community for the benefits accruing to employees from the delivery of comprehensive care to children, beginning in pregnancy and extending to childbirth and the first years of life.

The Early Childhood Legal Framework (MLPI), Law 13257, dated 8 March 2016, serves as the point of reference and framework document for the updated National Plan for Early Childhood. The National Plan for Early Childhood preceded the Legal Framework by six years, and the experience of both its development and implementation served as inspiration for a number of the MLPI’s provisions. However, because the Early Childhood Legal Framework represents a more advanced stage in our conception of integrated, multi-sectoral public policies on integral and integrated protection for children, this updated edition more closely aligns the PNPI with the proposals set forth in the Early Childhood Legal Framework and serves as an operating design of the statute’s provisions. In fact, the recurring intersection of these two markers has ensured that they continue walking hand in hand through time.

The Plan attaches prime importance to conceiving the child and childhood in their singular and collective dimensions alike an eye to the diversity of children and the diversity of childhoods. Understanding the child as a person in the context of their full dignity, as a subject of rights, is the foundational element for defining the guidelines, goals and targets of each right prescribed in the 1988 Brazilian Federal Constitution, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Statute on the Child, and Adolescent (ECA), the Early Childhood Legal Framework and the sector-specific laws on education, health, assistance, culture, and other pertinent issue areas.

The National Plan for Early Childhood converges with – and, in many cases, complements in terms of duration and specific actions for early childhood – other plans and programs. These include: the National Education Plan (PNE) (2014-2024), the National Health Plan, the National Social Assistance Plan, the National Culture Plan, the National Plan to Combat Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents, the National Plan to Promote, Protect and Defend the Right of Children and Adolescents to Family and Community Coexistence and the Action Plan for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda – (SDG).