Chile Grows with You, a comprehensive child protection system, is designed to assist and protect all Chilean children, with the goal of supporting them in their development from birth until they enter the school system as pre-kindergarteners. Chile Grows with You delivers access to services that address children's needs and aims to provide help in development at every stage of growth. Additionally, the programme supports families and communities by working on provision of appropriate conditions for child growth and development.
The programme consists of intersectoral coordination of initiatives, services, and programmes for children, so that it creates a support network for the development of children up to 4 or 5 years old (early childhood). Support for each child is provided simultaneously in different areas that unite in their development: health, preschool, family conditions, and conditions of their neighbourhood and community, among others.
- Mass Educational Programme: Aimed at the entire population (children in early childhood and their families) through awareness, advocacy, information, and education on appropriate care and stimulation of children, the programme seeks to generate a social environment involving family and community to contribute to the maximum developmental potential of children at this stage of life. This includes the following communication strategies:
- "Growing Together", a weekly radio programme with national coverage and dissemination of relevant information on issues of pregnancy, parenting, care, stimulation, and parenting.
- "Growing with TV", programming continuity with child development content, broadcast in waiting rooms of health centres.
- "Children Phone 800 200 818", a national hotline - a freely accessible telephone service providing access to consultations and guidance through the Integra Foundation. This phone is staffed by specialists.
- "Chile Crece Contigo" website, providing, among other things: information services; consulting specialists; and educational and training materials for children.
- Social network: direct interaction with the public through Facebook and Twitter, content dissemination of early childhood care and stimulation, surveys on specific topics, etc.
- Collection of nationally distributed educational pamphlets with content to support parenting skills and developmental needs of children.
- Music collection to support early childhood development (prenatal music, language stimulation, musical games, and musical tales).
- Collection of children's stories to support language and literacy in early childhood.
- Biopsychosocial Development Support Programme: This is the access programme for the Chile Grows with You programme, developed by the public healthcare network, open to all children who receive services through the public health system. Run from the Ministry of Health through its 29 health service offices, it is the gateway to Chile Grows with You. It consists of the offer of intensive support for check-ups, surveillance, and health promotion for children in early childhood (birth - 4 years of age).
The programme performs actions that complement the regular health check programmes of pregnancy and of the child. In short, Chile Grows, in agreement annually with the Ministry of Health, adds to the regular monitoring of health, either new coverage or universal coverage for certain actions that formerly reached only a portion of the population (pregnant women or children).
- Support for Newborns Programme: This programme's objectives aim to complement the "Integral Protection System for Early Childhood", ensuring more equitable paths and equalising development opportunities of children, as well as supporting families encountered in childbirth facilities belonging to the Assistance Network of Health Services and in maternity hospitals, through the delivery of a set called "Basic Tools for Newborns" and educational materials.
Early childhood, education, health, nutrition.
Starting in Chile in September 2009, the passage of Law 20.379 created the programme "Sistema Intersectorial de Protección Social e institucionalizó Chile Crece Contigo", a public policy that gives continuity to the early childhood development (ECD) policies that it advances. This law states that children are integrated into the programme from the time they are first registered with the public health system and are accompanied and supported by the system throughout their early development until they enter the school system. Additionally, it establishes guarantees of access to technical help, nurseries, kindergartens, and the Chile Solidarity programme offered to those families in vulnerable situations. It also provides preferential access of families to the whole network of social services and benefits of the State.
The coordination and articulation of the System of Comprehensive Child Protection is performed by the Ministry of Social Development. Other institutions participating in the system include: Ministry of Health (MINSAL), Ministry of Education (MOE), Ministry of Labour (MINTRAB), National Women's Service (SERNAM), The National Kindergarten Board (JUNJI), National Disability Fund (FONADIS), and individual municipalities.
Chile Crece Contigo website on January 6 2012.