EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION
Early childhood is a crucial stage of life in terms of a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Major part of a child’s learning takes place between birth and age six. It is the time when children need high quality personal care and learning experiences. With this in mind, GMRVF has started Bala Badis and is also supporting the government Anganwadis at different locations across the country.
These Centers provide joyful learning to children of 3-5 year age group along with inculcating some good habits. In addition, encouragement for the child to develop its natural talents like singing and playing games etc. is provided. A nutritious snack is provided daily to each child. The concerted efforts with this age group have helped in their school-preparedness while simultaneously engaging parents in their children’s learning process.
Currently, Foundation runs about 80 Bala Badis in different locations. Foundation also partners with the Department of Women and Child Welfare Development Gov. of India, in its Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) providing support to about 100 government run Anganwadis. These 180 early childcare institutions together reach out to over 3500 children.
Foundation’s 80 Bala Badis are set up with instructors and volunteers drawn from the community itself. GMRVF trains them to be effective learning facilitators.
Bala Badi operations across the locations are standardized to achieve quality and operate as per detailed but flexible operating manuals. GMRVF has also prepared a video document for training the teachers on early childcare.
Children attending the early childcare centers are provided with a health snack every day. Regular health check-ups are also conducted for the children.
The teachers and the volunteers are given regular training in playful learning and early childcare practices.
Foundation gives utmost importance to linking parents with the early childcare centers. Parents are regularly sensitized on different childcare issues. They take part in all the programs organized in the centers.
Bridging the Gaps!
Kakrahli and Barhai are two remote tribal hamlets of Lalpur Gram Panchayat in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. Anganwadi services like pre-school education, nutrition supplements and take-home ration etc. were unknown and unheard of. Looking at the poor nutritional and educational status of the Kol and Gond tribal communities here, GMRVF approached the ICDS Department to set up Anganwadis in these hamlets. ICDS gave approval to GMRVF to set up two Anganwadis in these two hamlets and an MOU was signed. GMRVF now runs Anganwadis in partnership with government. Currently, 55 children and 20 women are getting benefit from these two centers. Quality pre-school education and nutritional services are also being provided.