Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE)
Sichuan Province, CHINA
Local community members
Background – Social Connections and ECCE Awareness & Knowlegde
Family education and community education are essential to any child’s development. In China, where the government used to take on all responsibilities, a lack of public engagement has led to the connections between family, community and school being increasingly cut off, negatively impacting the quality of the essential family and community education a child needs.
In addition, China’s rapid economic and social development has very quickly led to the creation of large group of (internal) migrant children and so-called “left-behind children”, i.e. children’s whose parents have moved to work far from home leaving their young children with family members, most often grand-parents. According to the 6th national population census (2010), there are about 23.4 million left-behind children and 9.81 million migrant children in China, an increase of about 47.7% and 38.6% respectively compared with 2005. Taught by grandparents, the family education of left-behind children faces great challenges. Young left-behind children and migrant children are largely cut off from the community and preschool education, only to be found in town centers due to the centralized nature of education.
An Aide et Action survey in 2017 in the Sichuan region showed that rural families have very little knowledge on how to raise preschool children. In these areas, early childhood care and education is rarely approached or looked at in a scientific manner. Families focus the upbringing of their children on their physical needs, using their own past experiences and by comparing their children with other children and families in the neighborhood. Lack of open spaces and a scarcity of resources for early childhood care and education further compromise the children’s optimal development.
All in all, life in many rural areas of China is still hard, with many of its families struggling economically, which poses serious challenges to the early development of many infants and young children.
This project focuses on promoting early childhood care and education (ECCE) among schools, teachers, children and parents in vulnerable communities. Our goals are to improve access and quality of early education for children in vulnerable communities (including staff and facilities), to strengthen parents’ awareness and knowledge of early education, and to help connect ECCE services and resources in the local communities. Building on our earlier work, we
- keep running our existing Aid & Child Care Centers on a daily basis and arrange for ongoing training, support and supervision
- set up, support and supervise new Aid & Child Care Centers
- train new Mother Instructors qualified in Child Services and Parenting Guidance
- produce a training package and operating model for “Mother Instructors” and for operating Play Centers
- provide hundreds of children between 0 and 3 years old and their parents with access to quality ECCE services
- create child-friendly environments and assist additional villages and townships in setting up their child centers including facilities and equipment.