Bantwana Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program

Bantwana Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program

HammondBantwanaSwaziland44Global evidence suggests that early childhood development (ECD) programs are one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty and inequality.

The Government of Swaziland considers ECD a growing priority. However, as of 2009, just 21.6% of children had access to preschool education prior to entering the formal education system. Much work remains to not only expand access to ECD services, but also to improve service quality among existing providers. The majority of these providers receive no formal training in ECD or age-appropriate teaching approaches.

With funding from OSISA, Bantwana has established and strengthened the quality of ECD services for vulnerable children in the Lubombo region since 2011. Efforts include:

  • Training teachers/instructors from community preschools and National Care Points. Bantwana introduces globally recognized child development concepts and stages of development. We help teachers to understand vulnerable children’s needs, encouraging them to simplify exercises like play, dance, singing, and other age-appropriate learning activities.
  • Developing a Teacher’s Handbook for Early Childhood Care and Education, which provides teachers with information on age-appropriate ECD themes. The handbook also includes exercises and approaches to use in their classrooms.
  • Supporting the MoES to develop national ECD standards and a formal ECD syllabus that can be used as guides for ECD centers across the country.
  • Establishing gardens in community preschools to promote nutrition and establishing a basic linkage and referral system between community preschools and health care services for vulnerable children and families.
  • Engaging parents, local government, and traditional leaders in community sensitization activities that promote ECD programs.

 

View our poster for the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS Symposium 2016:

wei-b_ecdswaziland_equitynowposter-1