Early childhood is defined as the period from conception through eight years of age. These years are critical as they determine child’s survival and thriving in life, and lay the foundations for her/ his learning and holistic development. It is during the early years that children develop the cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills through supportive family and community care practices, proper nutrition and health care and learning opportunities that they need to succeed in life. ECE positively impacts attendance, retention, and learning of children in elementary and higher education.
The Government of India approved the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy in 2013. The Policy framework also includes the National Curriculum Framework and Quality Standards for ECCE.The Policy caters to all children under 6 years of age and commits to universal access to quality early childhood education. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) is the nodal department for ECCE.
YCDA in collaboration with Save The Children, implementing project to strengthen early years learning experiences of young children by having intervention in Anganwadi and school level. This project will focus on developing and showcasing effective ECCE models. This project would look into four interlinked dimensions for promoting school readiness skills in the transition of children from preschool to primary school. These dimensions are as follows; Ready Children, Ready Families, Ready School and Ready System.
Primary Education is regarded as a fundamental rights of all children. Government of Orissa has been settings goals and making provisions for universalisation of elementary education as per our constitutional provisions, National policy framework and Right to Education Act. Odisha has also develope a Rule to implement the act since 2010. However despite of all efforts Orissa is still backward in many indicators defining quality education. Some of the key reasons of all the isuses and factors are lack of child friendly pedagogy, poor quality of education, poorly functioning schools, incompetent teachers, and shortage of qualified teachers.
YCDA supports government efforts with an aim to ensure basic education to all children in the focus area for strengthening the formal education system by ensuring 100% enrolment and retention through network with School Management Committees and other community group including Self Help Groups.We work in the framework of making schools are beautiful, all children are learning and active community participation.
In collaboration with Edukans Foundation, we are engaged in a STAR School project to make targeted schools a centre of excellence in certain indicators. In the beginning a school assesment exercise is undertaken together with SMC and teachers and further plan are developed to improve the areas. Teachers training and learing is one of the major activities in this intervention.