Labasa town was filled with songs and laughter as Macuata pre-schoolers celebrated the launch of Early Childhood Education with a march yesterday.
Parents, teachers and students marked the event with dances, songs and dramas to the theme 'Education is a link to the future', at the Labasa Civic Centre.
The chief guest and Divisional Education officer North, Satya Shandil, reminded parents of the need to prepare their children for the changing world.
He said the education ministry assisted parents with their children's tuition fees, while other levies were the parents' responsibility to ensure their children received the best education.
"Although education is not free, it is a lifelong process and starting early in life is crucial as ECE programs aim to nurture healthy development from the earliest years," he said.
"State preschool assessments have shown that ECE programs make children better prepared for school which is a sign of future success.
"The benefits of ECE are not just short-term in nature, studies show that early interventions can have a positive effect on young children."
Mr Shandil reiterated government's support to increase educational opportunities for children.
"For these programs, we make a special effort to reach schools with high proportions of minorities and lower income children," he said.