Early Childhood Development is the key to a full and productive life for a child and to the progress of a nation. Early childhood is a critical stage of development that forms the foundation for children’s future well-being and learning. Research has shown that half of a person’s intelligence potential is developed by age four and that early childhood interventions can have a lasting effect on intellectual capacity, personality and social behaviour.
The early childhood period encompasses quite distinct phases: from ‘conception to birth’ and from ‘birth to 3 years’, with emphasis on the first 1,000 days(from conception to 24 months), followed by the ‘preschool and pre-primary years (3 years to 5 or 6 years, or the age of school entry). The goal for ECD is that all young children, especially the most vulnerable, from conception to age of school entry, achieve their developmental potential.
Unnati Sansthan works on Early Childhood Development (ECD) to bring changes in terms of parenting, nutrition & health behaviour so that every child can attain his/her full potential. We focus on FLWs especially AWW & ASHA Sahyogni to build their skills & capacity so that as being an on intellectual change maker and being from the same community they can help in bringing behavioural changes among people in terms of nutrition, health and education; and to make every place child friendly where every child can realize their full potential. In doing so we shifted from knowledge-based training to competency-based training.
This is enabled by the following factors:
- All young children, from birth to school entry, have equitable access to essential quality health, nutrition, protection, early stimulation and early learning services that address their developmental needs;
- Parents and caregivers are supported and behavioural nurturing care and positive parenting with their young children.
- Front-line workers are capacitated to effectively counsel the caregivers of pregnant women, lactating women, and caregivers of children aged 0-6 years.
- Ensuring the availability of necessary equipment and resources at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) to gauge the developmental milestones reached by children.
- Undertaking home visits along with the AWWs to improve her delivery of messages and increase the impact of early childhood centres in the lives of rural people.
- knowledge-based focus under the ECD component is on apprising about nutritional habits, early stimulation and pre-school education among the children so that they would be able to achieve their full the access all the opportunities.