Early Childhood Development (ECD) refers to the physical, cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development of a child from the prenatal stage up to age eight. Holistic ECD has largely been neglected by international donors and partners, until recently. With the introduction of the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF), and the inclusion of pre-primary learning in USAID’s most recent education policy, there is a directed global emphasis on ECD. Quality ECD programming is holistic, working across multiple sectors (health, nutrition, education, etc.), and at many levels – with children, parents and caregivers, and communities. The goal of this roundtable discussion is to explore the elements of quality community-based ECD programming within the community ecosystem.
These programming elements are based on the ecological model of enabling environments for Nurturing Care, and will include: planning and identifying key stakeholders and the influences of different groups within the community; how to integrate sectors to get maximum uptake of behaviors; methods of designing and targeting programming to reach vulnerable families; as well as exploring project models that are currently being implemented.
This roundtable discussion will begin with a brief overview and description of the ecological model. Each organization will present its contextualization and adaptation of this model for community-based ECD programs with country specific examples of caregivers’ capabilities, empowered communities, supportive services and enabling policies.
World Vision will lead a discussion of the 5 Strategic Actions for NCF Operationalisation (focus on families and communities, strengthening services across the sectors, monitoring progress, leading and investing (more relevant to national level), and research & innovations), with concrete country examples.
Food for the Hungry will lead participants in a discussion on how others have adapted this model in their context to ensure holistic programming for child development and stimulation, focusing on challenges and lessons learned for quality implementation.