This study was commissioned to examine current early childhood care and education programmes and policies in three countries in the Asia Pacific region: Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Specifically the study attempts to achieve two objectives: firstly, to give an account of the extent to which a holistic view of child development has been translated into learner-centred curricula that includes health and nutritional needs of young children, and secondly, to address gender issues and the inclusion of children at risk of experiencing marginalisation or exclusion. This study is aimed at practitioners and policy makers to help work directly with young children who are at risk or are made vulnerable by difficult life conditions brought about by social, economic, political and cultural factors. It is the author's opinion that social and cultural diversity, gender sensitivity and equality and a committment to inclusion based on respect for and acceptance of human diversity can be addressed meaningfully through early childhood development programmes.
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