Anganwadis are childcare centres established under government’s ICDS scheme to combat child hunger, malnutrition and preschool education. Anganwadis are the largest providers of Early Childhood Education in the country.
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Early Childhood Education
What is the problem?
What are Anganwadis?
5 year olds currently acquire less than 50% skills required to be school ready
34.9 million children attend Anganwadis
Children leaving Anganwadis are not school ready. They therefore begin their life with a disadvantage.
Did you know?
Government’s Early Childhood Education centres do not fall under the Department of Education but under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Why is it happening?
Anganwadis are viewed primarily as nutrition centres.
Early childhood education (ECE) escapes the Right to Education Act.
Thus, there is a lack of focus on quality of ECE provision.
Minimum qualification for an Anganwadi Worker is 8th pass.
Only 4 days of base training in ECE and inadequate refresher training (once in 2 years) provided for capacity building
No robust system of monitoring and evaluation for ECE
Why does this matter?
90 percent of brain growth happens by the time a child is 6 years old.
-Indian Early Childhood Education Impact Study
Quality ECE contributes 20% to reduction in dropouts
ECE is one of the most effective investments in development
– Central Square Foundation
Establish quality early childhood education as the right of every child
Improve focus on and quality of Early Childhood Education in Anganwadis
Preparing Anganwadis for Learning
PAL is a district wide intervention which utilises the existing government machinery to leverage top-down structures to increase focus on ECE.
It simultaneously builds a demand driven approach to professional development, creating a bottom up loop to sustain quality ECE.
How does it happen?
Increase ECE knowledge
Build capacity as master trainers
Anganwadi Workers share existing practices
Supervisors share new practices
System of appreciation
Child Development Report Card
Data driven monitoring and evaluation
The program was conceptualised through our work with the Women and Child Development Department of Karnal, Haryana.
30 master trainers from within the system were trained in various aspects of early childhood education who further trained 1,482 Anganwadi workers to reach 15,000 students.
PAL was one of the projects presented to the State Government of Haryana, responsible for the issuance of a directive to each District to allocate a budget a budget for Early Childhood Education
How did it happen?
A train-the-train model was designed to conduct a program at this scale. The trainers were selected from within the system to internally drive the project.
A mobile application was designed for anganwadi supervisors to monitor ECE progress. It also serves as a repository for ECE activities.
Child Assessment Report Cards
Report Cards to observe children’s developmental growth were introduced in each Anganwadi.