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The Globalisation of Play: A Summary and Analysis of Four Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes in Cambodia. Fiona J. M. Pigott Written as part.

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Presentation on theme: "The Globalisation of Play: A Summary and Analysis of Four Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes in Cambodia. Fiona J. M. Pigott Written as part."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Globalisation of Play: A Summary and Analysis of Four Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes in Cambodia. Fiona J. M. Pigott Written as part of the Masters of International Education Programme with the University of Sydney, Australia. November 2005 Using Power Point Start Presentation

2 Abstract:This report discusses current theories in Early Childhood Care and Development with a case study on Cambodia. Four different ECCD programmes are reviewed and critiqued against best-practice, using the International Baccalaureate as a model. It concludes that in order to address the needs of a globalised world ECCD needs to be relevant and engaging; to provide opportunities for inquiry, decision-making and collaboration; to stimulate creativity; and to facilitate intercultural understanding. Table of Contents Note: Underlined headings in this table are hyperlinked to their sections. Section Page Introduction 4 2. Literature Review 8 2.1 ECCE Pedagogical Theory 9 2.2 An International Curriculum 13 2.3 The Primary Years Programme 14 2.4 The Cambodian Context 16 2.5 ECCE in Cambodia 22 2.6 The PYP in Cambodia 25 3. Methodology 3.1 The Case Study 28 3.2 Limitations 29 3.3 Scope 30 Section Page 3.4 Ethics and Validity 31 4. Case Studies 32 4.1 Government: Reul Preschool 33 4.2 Industry: NYEMO Kindergarten 35 4.3 Private: Cambokids Playground 37 4.4 Community: Community Preschool 39 5. Implications 42 5.1 Comparison with Best Practice 43 5.2 Interpretations 44 6. Recommendations and Conclusion 49 References and Appendix 52

3 I have certain rights as a person.
The Rights of a Child. I am of absolute value. I have certain rights as a person. Grown-ups should care for me when I have no capacity to care for myself, and society has obligations towards me when I am a child. UNESCO (2001)

4 Back to Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION “Education - learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together”. (UNESCO, 2005c) Learning begins at birth. It is commonly agreed that stimulation in early childhood results in more agile minds, better school attendance, lower repetition and drop-out rates, and stronger academic skills (UNESCO, 2005c). By observing the benefits of a globally relevant, engaging and empowering curriculum on the social, emotional and cognitive development of young children it seems obvious that it would be of great social and economic benefit for all nations to offer high-quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) to all its children. Back to Table of Contents

5 Yet, due to economic and cultural factors there are many children in both developed and developing nations who are not engaged in stimulating early childhood activities. The Education for All 2000 Assessment (EFA) (UNESCO, 2000: 2) shows that of the more than 800 million children in the world who are under 6 years of age, fewer than a third benefit from any form of early childhood programmes, and most of these children live in the developing world. There are many challenges to developing quality early childhood experiences. A major force driving these changes is globalisation. The international adoption of values (such as education as a right for all), attitudes (such as young children being capable learners) and pedagogies (such as cognitive development theories) has been aided by the processes of globalisation. In his research, Simon Marginson (2002: 42) outlines how globalisation impacts education and identifies internationalisation as a major result. Philip Jones (1998: ) also explores the relationship between globalisation and internationalism in schools. He refers to internationalism as “the promotion of global peace and well-being through the development and application of international structures” and states that “it is best understood as a product of democratic institutions at work”. Institutions and governments want to provide ‘international’ education and develop ‘international’ workers for global markets.

6 Much of the discussion on the internationalisation of education defines it as “a process of integrating an… intercultural dimension into the teaching, research, and service functions of the institution.” (Knight and de Wit 1995). Redding-Jones (2005) argues that it is also about attitudes, common meeting points, the negotiation of languages and being open to ideas and values that you did not have before. But international education goes beyond the integration of other ideas into current practices; it also involves the development of new pedagogy and curriculum. For example, it includes changes in educational policy, levels of community participation in schooling, languages of instruction, teaching and assessment methodology, values and attitudes education and curriculum content. Globalisation has had direct consequences on the types of early childhood care and education needed. Female workers have become crucial to export industries and financial services (Carnoy, 1995: 216) meaning that traditional care-givers are now more likely to be involved in paid work. ECCE and services for parents with young children developed in tandem with increased female participation in the labour market in industrialised countries (Soo-Hyang Choi, 2002: 1) and as a result many companies and governments are providing childcare options in order to encourage women into the workforce. Developing countries are beginning to meet this need.

7 This presentation provides an overview of current issues and best practice in ECCE. Cambodia is used as an illustrative case study. It is a descriptive report of a study on the interactions between the globalisation of early childhood education issues and a developing nation. It is anticipated that many readers of this report will speak English as a second language. Visual aids (such as colour), small sections of text and the novelty of technology are understood to assist ESL readers (SA Dept. of Ed, 2004). I have adopted an electronic format in the hope of meeting these needs. The presentation begins by reviewing the literature on early childhood pedagogy with relation to globalisation and education development. The Cambodian context is briefly explored. After discussing the context of ECCE in Cambodia, four programmes are described succinctly. Insights into best practice are gathered using the International Baccalaureate programme as a model and comparisons made between the programmes. The presentation concludes by recommending ways in which ECCE programmes in Cambodia could use such insights to implement high quality learning opportunities. It is important to note that this presentation is in by no means a comprehensive study of all the ECCE programmes in Cambodia. However, it is a useful starting point for a discussion on the value of ECCE, its possible contribution to development and a more detailed investigation of the different models available.

8 Back to Table of Contents
2. LITERATURE REVIEW Providing high quality early childhood care and education is an area of vital importance for securing a bright future for our children. The benefits of early childhood education are well documented and include strengthening social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, which in turn strengthens an individual’s ability to participate socially and economically in their community. It equips children with social skills that they continue to use throughout their lives helping them to communicate, problem-solve and manage relationships more effectively, and to think more creatively. There are different theories as how best to present early learning opportunities, but whether formal or non-formal in their organisation, there are key approaches that can be used to maximise learning. The main approach is play. Van Oers (2003) argues that whilst there is no absolute standard for defining high-quality early childhood education and care, effective learning most often occurs within shared playful activity in which children are stimulated to use as many resources as possible. Back to Table of Contents

9 2.1 Early Childhood Education – Pedagogical Theory
Child development became an area of study in the early 1900s with theorists such as Vygotsky, Piaget and Montessori beginning to research how the brain develops and what activities best facilitate the learning of language, social constructs and cognitive development. From these theories practical teaching and learning strategies have been developed and are now used in best-practice early childhood care and education around the world. Traditionally this care and education has been provided by parents and informal community groups but increasingly young children are spending their preschool years in formal or paid care arrangements. In both industrialised and developing nations, early childhood education programmes have been shown to bring critical gains to children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development (Heymann, 2003: 1) and are the first steps towards a lifetime of peaceful, non-violent activities, of respect for one-self and others, and of appreciation of diversity (UNESCO, 2000: 2). Early childhood education’s importance was confirmed by the Education for All conferences which determined that the expansion of early childhood care and developmental activities, especially for poor, disadvantaged and disabled children was one of its six international objectives for education. (UNESCO, 2005b).

10 Play Play is a natural activity for children, through which they make meaning of the world around them. Fromberg (1999) proposes that young children's play is symbolic, meaningful, active, pleasurable, voluntary, intrinsically motivated, rule-governed, and episodic. Children learn skills through play which can be facilitated by a play programme in an early childhood setting (Morrison, G.S, and Rusher, A.S., 1999). The power to choose is not traditionally afforded to young children but current research suggests that negotiating the curriculum with children encourages identity formation and communication skills. This, however, may cater more effectively for the profile required in entrepreneurial cultures rather than the more passive behaviour found in children who must adhere to a previously defined curriculum (Bennett, 2004). The benefits children derive from play include: learning to represent their ideas through constructing, painting, drawing, building; developing social skills by communicating, negotiating, cooperating and sharing; building foundations for early literacy and numeracy developing imaginations; making meaning of their world by exploring community and family roles; experimenting and making discoveries by working at their own pace and at their own level.

11 Social Benefits Early childhood care and education is a relatively new area of formal education but one whose potential to impact the life opportunities of children everywhere is being realised. Researchers, international organisations, governments and individuals are recognising that investing in quality ECCE can develop social behaviours and educational achievement that leads to increased employment opportunities and quality of life. During early childhood (0-8yrs) children learn the fundamental social and academic skills that they use throughout their lives. In a time of change and uncertainty children need to learn skills that allow them to participate in economic, cultural and political activities and, increasingly, educators are aware that these skills must include the ability to operate in a global society. ECCE can facilitate the development of individuals who: think analytically, innovatively and critically, can communicate across and within cultures, can work effectively in groups and independently using a variety of technology, participate in many facets of society, have flexible skills that can be applied to a changing learning and working environment.

12 Carol Bellamy, UNICEF's Executive Director, believes that:
Political Benefits Through education children can learn the skills they need to participate in a globalised world. The thinking skills that are taught in schools reflect the basic value orientations of cultures (Masemann, 1999: 118) with curriculum aiming to create valued members of society. ECCE encourages children to think analytically so that in the future they can become active in governments and social organisations, participate in decision-making and community-building opportunities and take on responsibilities of environmental and social sustainability. Economic Benefits There are also long-term economic benefits for companies and governments who invest in quality childcare. UNESCO (2000: 3) states that for every $1 spent on early childhood care there is a $7 return through cost savings as studies show that participants in preschool and day care are less likely to suffer illnesses, repeat grades or drop out of school. This translates into long-term savings on remedial social, health and educational programmes (Soo-Hyang Choi, 2002: 3). Carol Bellamy, UNICEF's Executive Director, believes that: “investment in the development and care of our youngest children is the most fundamental form of good leadership” (UNESCO, 2000: 3) .

13 2.2 An International Curriculum for a Global Community
Most educators increasingly believe that learner-centred, participatory, inquiry-based curricula are successful in developing competent, accomplished individuals able to contribute to communities and economies. The UNESCO (2001) model for a globalised perspective of ECCE states that programmes should be based on values of human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, ethical responsibility and accountability, play and professionalism. It is these kinds of curricula in which governments are investing and in whose strategies and methodologies universities are educating trainee teachers. National curriculum, however, are also driven by economic and outcome-focussed strategies and are, therefore, slow to change and reluctant to trial ‘radical’ concepts. As a result, some schools began to develop their own curriculum, based on research on how children learn and a desire to equip children with the skills that they will need in the future. Many of these schools offered western styles of education in developing countries to the national elite and expatriate populations and could, therefore, work outside the constraints of government funded and regulated systems. In 1968 they came together to form the International Baccalaureate Organisation and began developing a formal curriculum to meet their needs.

14 2.3 The Primary Years Programme
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) was the third programme developed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, which is perhaps best known for its rigorous Diploma Programme. It is the result of education professionals working together to define best practice using current research within a range of national curriculum and caters for students aged 3-11 years. The PYP synthesises the best research and practice from a range of national systems to create a transdisciplinary curriculum which is relevant, challenging and engaging for learners.   The IBO programme is best summarised by its mission statement: The International Baccalaureate Organisation aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IBO works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with differences, can also be right. (IBO, 2000: 3) Image:

15 The PYP Curriculum Model
The Early Years in the Primary Years Programme The Primary Years Programme’s statement on the early years of formal education asserts that young children need to engage with the world, be active learners through experimentation and experience, and to have their curiosity fostered through explorative play (IBO, 2001: 2). There is an emphasis on finding a balance between the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, and the search for meaning and understanding (IBO, 2002: 14). This document also states that young children should be provided with opportunities to: The PYP Curriculum Model Make choices and decisions, Use materials in flexible and imaginative ways, Initiate inquiry and ask question, Work collaboratively with others, Sustain their interests and extend their knowledge, Develop understanding (IBO, 2001: 2). Image:

16 2.4 The Cambodian Context After a long and rich early history the kingdom of Angkor fell into demise. In 1884, the Cambodian King signed a treaty with the French Government and remained under French Protectorate until During the 1960s internal political turmoil continued, power was seized and lost and the government was incredibly unstable. Cambodia was official neutral during the ‘American War’ but towards the end of the conflict Viet Cong soldiers were using Cambodian territory to launch attacks on Southern Vietnam. The eastern half of the country suffered enormously during US B -52 carpet bombing. The general population was fearful of both the Vietnamese communists and fed up with the indecisive, corrupt government. On the 17th April 1975 the socialist rebels, known as the Khmer Rouge, took the capital, Phnom Penh. Brutal restructuring of society occurred, currency was abolished and ‘Year Zero’ proclaimed. For four years the country was a strict socialist state, supported by the Chinese, and it is generally agreed that one million Cambodians died from starvation, over-work or genocide. After border scuffles instigated by the Khmer Rouge, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia and installed a new government headed by two former Khmer Rouge officers. One of them, H.E. Hun Sen is still the Prime Minister of the now democratic Cambodia.

17 Cambodian Statistics - UNESCO (2005)
In 1989 the United Nations Temporary Administration of Cambodia (UNTAC) initiated rapid development of infrastructure, including re-establishing the education system. There is great concern about the increasing disparity between the extremely wealthy (many of whom are in positions of political/military power) and the farmer (who make up 80% of the population). Cambodia faces structural problems in governance and resource allocation, compounded by a vast scarcity of human resources, particularly in rural areas. Although major urban centres have witnessed substantial advances in varied sectors of development over the past decade, many rural areas remain largely untouched by socio-economic progress. However, improvements have been made! In 2004 there were the first democratic national elections that were resolved without military conflict. Cambodia is an active member of ASEAN and are also signatories to the World Trade Organisation. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been effectively contained and other health indicators show improvement. And perhaps most importantly there is a perception of peace and security amongst the Khmer people. Cambodian Statistics - UNESCO (2005) Human Development Index Ranking 130 of 177 Completion of Primary School 67% Population living below poverty line 40% Literacy Level 74% Malnutrition (<5yrs) 45% Infant Mortality (<5yrs) 95 /1000

18 Impact Of Globalisation
The forces of modernity, globalisation, are impacting Cambodia’s children. These forces include rapid urbanisation, the movement from agricultural to non-agricultural work and from informal to formal sector work, and the need for a more highly educated workforce in order to compete effectively in a globalised economy. Extended families, the traditional caregivers, are being separated as people migrate for employment purposes. Heymann (2002) reports that changes in parental employment is significantly impacting young children. Children are increasingly left home alone or in the care of siblings, increasing the risk of serious preventable illness and injury. Or they are brought to work often in circumstances that are detrimental to the young child’s development. Or they are left in informal care settings with inadequate care providers. Providing affordable, quality childcare is obviously a necessary solution to these problems. Globalisation, and its impacts on nations’ economies has established the belief that the quality of a country's human resources is one of the key determinants of its competitive advantage in the marketplace (Ayres, 2000). The Cambodian Government has paid much vocal attention to the importance of providing quality education to develop the country’s human resources. However, the tensions between local and global issues of tradition and modernity are hindering their efforts.

19 Globalisation is having five major affects on the internationalisation of education in Cambodia. These are briefly explored below. Adoption of international values and attitudes Since the 1950s Cambodia has been subjected to, or affected by, the political, economic and social values of the French Colonist, American Imperialist, Chinese and Vietnamese Communist, Khmer Rouge Socialist, and the United Nations Idealist. These world views have influenced traditional attitudes towards education, including the participation of females and ethnic minorities, the official entry-age, the curriculum format and content. In fact the entire education system, including the very concept of formal schooling, was introduced only 6o years ago by the French, as traditionally pagodas were places of learning and monks the teachers. Increases in multinational industry and investment For many years multinational companies were reluctant to invest in Cambodia due to instability, corruption and the high cost of transport and electricity. However, the last five years has seen some growth in foreign investment. The Government, motivated by the need for educated labourers, is focusing on providing basic education to the population. The Government has also identified a desire to educate internationally recognised graduates who can contribute to the further development of Cambodia’s economy (MoEYS, 2004: 8).

20 The influences of international agencies
The international development community is firmly embedded in Cambodia. Around 48 of 104 international NGOs and 88 of 392 local NGOs have education programmes (MoEYS, 2005: 23). These organisations along with multi-lateral agencies such as the United Nations and World Bank have significant influence on the educational policies and budgets of Cambodia. International sharing of knowledge Advances in technology results in educational research being passed around the world. This knowledge often reaches Cambodia through ‘experts’ working with NGOs or Khmer’s returning from study abroad. The Government, NGOs, teachers, students and communities assimilate this knowledge and adapt it to the local context often driven by international agendas, such as UNESCO’s Education For All Strategy. Migration Unable to feed themselves year-round villagers migrate to other provinces in search of better opportunities, often within the increasing industrial sector. Therefore, the populations of rural schools are fluid and many children’s education is disrupted as they move from place to place. Increasing numbers of private schools implementing foreign curriculum have been established to cater for international business people and development workers.

21 In his study on modernity and education in Cambodia, David Ayres (2000) identifies that traditional educational practices with their emphasis on teacher-status and rote-learning, and a traditional political and bureaucratic culture which honours a culture of hierarchy and patronage are still well entrenched within the education system. He argues that in order to be competitive in the global economy Cambodia needs to establish an entrepreneurial culture, providing a basis for informed choices, facilitating good governance, and responding to changing conditions and needs in the labour market. But to do this requires skills in decision-making and problem solving -skills that are not facilitated by the current school curriculum or attitudes towards young children. Hence the importance of designing and implementing high quality, inquiry-based early childhood (and school) programmes. Before moving on one must ask, given the strengths of local traditions, whether adopting globalised concepts of education is appropriate for the Cambodian context? It would seem that an education system focused on academic objectives and achievement is inappropriate in an environment where there exists few employment opportunities outside the agricultural sector (Ayres, 2000). But there are efforts to adapt global concepts to the local context. For example, slowly, environmental and life-skills units such as pest management, health and hygiene, and animal raising are being integrated into the school curriculum. There are also many efforts underway to increase the opportunities for decision-making and problem-solving.

22 2.5 Early Childhood Care and Education in Cambodia
It is proposed that a thorough study of the formal ECCE available in a developing nation, Cambodia, would be beneficial in deepening our understanding of globalisation’s impact on ECCE and of how countries are responding to these economic, political and cultural changes. Cambodia is in the process of economic and political development and has limited early childhood programmes. Currently, care of 0-3 year olds is largely fulfilled by mothers bringing babies to the fields while they work, or, secondarily, by older siblings/grandparents caring for them at home (Kamerman, 2002, p.21). The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) is engaged in teacher-training programmes and non-government organisations are also supporting the development of childcare facilities. MoEYS policy on ECCE states that there is: “great concern about learning achievements of primary school children, and the high repetition and drop out rate… resulting from factors such as health problems and the insufficient care and education of children below 6 years old…” (MoEYS, 2000: 1)

23 “MoEYS recognises that essential for the full development, well-being and rights of the child, is the comprehensive, holistic care and education of the child, centred on the child, focused on the family, based in the community and supported by national policies and strategies” (MoEYS, 2000: 6) There are also other issues that need addressing such as early childhood health. Khmer children often have low birth weights and suffer malnutrition which can lead to developmental delays. They are often part of families that experience domestic violence (66% of women report having experienced domestic violence) and there is high levels of illiteracy amongst the older generation. There are many maternal and infant health programmes currently operating in Cambodia, instigated by both the Government and NGOs. The amount of children requiring formal care is increasing as traditional caregivers (mothers) enter the workforce. By managing formal care and education systems, and supporting informal systems in the community it is possible to ensure that more children are receiving the high quality learning experiences they need. Currently around 6.2% of 3-5yr olds are enrolled in preschools, with lack of classes and an inability to pay fees restricting access for many.

24 In the Education Strategic Plan the MoEYS aims to cater for 75% of five years olds by 2015 by encouraging private enterprise. There is also a move towards focusing on alternate strategies that might include a shift towards community-based models of service delivery that will encourage community participation and financing of ECCE services. Efforts are underway to coordinate inter-ministerial mechanisms to build the capacity of existing government departments currently working with women and children. Teacher training is another area where significant advances are being made in improving the quality of training received by early childhood professionals. A specialised teacher training college exists in Phnom Penh, whilst rural area are currently catered for through primary teacher training colleges. Photo curtesy of Kung Sakem

25 2.6 The Primary Years Programme in Cambodia
There is already one school authorised to implement the Primary Years Programme in Cambodia. Whilst supported mainly by the international community and operating on different budget scales, this school significantly encounters and responds to Khmer culture. Briefly exploring its programme will contribute to understanding how best practice can be adapted to the Cambodian context. The International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP), Cambodia is a not-for-profit, English language, parent cooperative school founded in It is an authorised International Baccalaureate Organisation World School providing education for students aged 3-18 years. The student body represents 29 different nationalities (approx. 20% Khmer) and the majority of students are bilingual. In its mission statement ISPP declares its intention to: “empower students, in a caring international environment, to achieve their potential by pursuing personal and academic excellence, and to grow as responsible global citizens who celebrate diversity” (ISPP, 2005 & Image: International School of Phnom Penh

26 The Early Years Programme (Ages 3-5)
This programme emphasises play as the fundamental medium for young children's learning. The classroom environment utilises learning centres to provide a variety of experiences and allow for choices. Materials are accessible to children and the surroundings are adaptable, welcoming and nurturing. Both outdoor and indoor spaces are used. The classroom environment allows children to make choices based on individual differences and interests over a wide range of developmental capabilities, allows for movement, provides for a variety of challenges, and enhances the development of independence. Students freely interact with each other and their teachers while involved with materials or during the day's activities. As well as being experiential, the Early Years Programme is child‑centred and flexible. The curriculum is integrated across the age groupings, and introduces meaningful ‘Units of Inquiry’ which spark children's natural curiosities, interests and enthusiasm. The day runs from 7.30am pm with breaks for snack, lunch and resting. At 6yrs children move into the primary school on the same campus.

27 The programme seeks to foster each child's intellectual, physical, emotional, social, cultural, and aesthetic growth driven by the basic philosophy that children learn best by doing. That is, children’s discovery is concrete and is based upon their own experiences. In this program, children are given opportunities to explore, experiment and discover with hands on materials. Their play is their work. Key Statistics Space provided (approx): 3 classrooms m2 and outdoor playground 300m2 plus access to library, swimming pool, computer labs and larger playgrounds. Teacher/Student Ratio: 1/18 Trained Teacher or 1/7 including Teacher Assistants Teacher Training: International teachers have Bachelor (or higher) Degrees in Education and Teaching. Teacher Assistants (Khmer) receive annual professional development from ISPP. Purpose: to provide high quality ECCE as the first stage in a school-wide curriculum. Funded by: Parents. Fees: $3000 per year

28 Back to Table of Contents
3. METHODOLOGY 3.1 The Case Study This study’s purpose is to examine some of the ECCE opportunities available to the average Khmer preschooler; and to evaluate these opportunities against a high-quality curriculum, such as the IBO PYP. It is not comprehensive nor is it intended to be. This report is intended to be the beginning of a discussion and may inspire further research on how to improve the quality of ECCE in a developing country. Information will be collected on four small case studies using organisational materials, such as annual reports, informal interviews and researcher observations. The documentation will then be analysed for demonstrating key themes in ECCE, that is stimulating: analytical thinking skills; communication across and within cultures; working effectively in groups and independently using a variety of materials; participating in many facets of society; and developing flexible skills that can be applied to a changing environment. Back to Table of Contents

29 As a result of recommendations made by this study the curriculum may then be appropriately modified and applied to the cultural context. The study will propose areas of focus for the providers of formal early childhood education that will increase the effectiveness and quality of their programmes. These providers, both governmental and non-governmental, are the intended audience for the study. The results may also be of relevance and interest to community groups, such as orphanages and family child-carers. 3.2 Limitations Case studies as a research approach has generally been considered less rigorous than quantitative experiments and surveys (Yin, 1994; Simons, 1996). Indeed, caution must be taken when applying insights from the particular to the general. How the research manages their attitudes, expectations and motivational factors also impacts the validity of the study. However, case studies provide an opportunity to better understand complex human circumstances and inform a particular situation (Simons, 1996: 227). They are often of intrinsic value to those personally involved in the situation and provide meaningful recommendations for those studied. Stake (1994: 238) advocates for the case study to be recognised as a small step towards grand generalisation.

30 3.3 Scope Working within these limitations this study will include an analysis of statistical information to examine the conditions under which young Khmers are developing; brief case studies to illustrate the four types of formal ECCE offered in Cambodia; and a comparison of the case studies with international best practice. Information will be gathered on four types of formal education as identified by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (2000: 2). 1. preschools run by the government – Mahaleap 2 Preschool, Kampong Cham. 2. preschools run by the private sector – Cambokids Playground, Phnom Penh. 3. preschools run by enterprise – Nyemo Kindergarten, Phnom Penh. 4. preschools run by the community – Community Preschool Programme. A practical extension of the study would include the development of an early childhood carer training course/manual that could be used by a diverse range of organisations when developing programmes. The manual would outline various practical, low-budget ways to increase the quality and relevance of ECCE programmes, develop learning environments and would expose carers to philosophies of education that support children in becoming competent, knowledgeable global citizens.

31 3.5 Ethics Stake (1994) reminds us that qualitative researches are guests in people’s worlds, so it is imperative that their manners are good and their code of ethics strict. The purpose of this research is to encourage ECCE efforts that are already underway and to guide those that are being developed. Therefore, the successes of the programmes studied are highlighted and constructive recommendations are specific, measurable, achievable and relevant. All four case studies and ISPP were aware of participating in research for academic purposes that may be shared with interested parties. All participants will receive a copy of this report. 3.6 Validity It is possible to strengthen the validity of case studies by using triangulation to substantiate research for “if a variety of different sources of evidence lead to a broadly similar picture, one ends to have more confidence in their findings” (Johnson, 1994: 11). Similarly, Yin (1994: 92) states that case studies using various sources are better received in their overall quality than others that depend only on a single information source”. To strengthen its validity this study will draw common threads between the written materials provided by organisations, the implementers’ interviews, the researcher’s observations and the literature on the topic.

32 Back to Table of Contents
4. CASE STUDIES Following the MoEYS breakdown, four programmes were chosen to represent government, private, industry and community run ECCE. Individual programmes were selected by willingness to participate and accessibility. Twenty-two programmes were contacted and asked to participate. Due to time constraints, including the high prevalence of national holidays during the research period, only the participating early childhood programmes responded. Programmes were visited for a day of observations and informal interviews. Staff provided access to programme reports and further information was gathered from web-sites describing activities. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of: Mr Kong Sakem and Ms Lena Richter, Redd Barna; Ms Seng Sophy, Cambokids; Ms Ky Kanary and Ms Ean Sokha, Nyemo; and the Director Mahaleap 2 Primary School, Koh Sotin District, Kompang Cham. Back to Table of Contents

33 4.1 Government: Mahaleap 2 Preschool
Mahaleap 2 Preschool is situated within a primary school in a rural district of Kampong Cham (2.5hrs north of Phnom Penh). The parents in this community were eager to send their children to school so the Director applied to the MoEYS for permission to open a preschool class and ease the strain of under-age enrolment in Grade One. She covers the costs of the preschool from her current primary school budget as she has been unable to access extra government funding. The teacher is employed by the MoEYS and has received three months of training in early childhood education. She implements the MoEYS preschool curriculum which focuses on early literacy and numeracy skills. During her training the teacher observed preschool classes in Phnom Penh. She receives the same salary as primary school teachers ($25/mth). The Director explains her objectives for the preschool class in an informal interview. She wants the children to learn the discipline of school, to build their listening and concentration skills. The teacher plays games to teach them to follow instructions. The classes should run from 7-10am (an hour less than primary classes) as she believes this is the best time of day for young children to learn.

34 The thirty students come from farming families of lower economic status, most of whom have been cared for by grandparents before beginning preschool. Officially this programme is for five year olds but many are younger. They are smiling and seem eager to come to school. They sit together on grass mats facing the teacher who’s on a stool. There is a shelf in the corner with pie chart/days of the week and number posters. The children learn songs and dances and engage in oral/aural letter and numeral recognition. There is some visual learning using posters developed by NGOs (hygiene, farming skills, daily life) and the MoEYS (numerals and letters). They practice pre-writing skills on their slates. The class plays group circle games with much accompanying laughter. Key Statistics Space provided (approx): classroom 36m2 large playground shared with primary school. Teacher/Student Ratio: 1/30 Teacher Training: 1yr MoEYS Teacher Training Course and 3mth Early Childhood Course. Purpose: to reduce requests from parents for under-age enrolment in Grade One class. Funded by: Government of Cambodia – MoEYS Fees: nil

35 4.2 Industry: NYEMO Kindergarten
Whilst not a commercial industry, NYEMO is a vocational training organisation that provides childcare for the women participating in their courses or developing small businesses. The local NGO offers a range of support mechanism for ‘vulnerable’ women and their children with an emphasis on social and medical support. Childcare facilities are offered to women for the 6-9mths that they receive assistance. Extra care is available while the women start small businesses or jobs but NYEMO’s aim is that they will eventually become self-supporting. Around 600 children from 1mth to 13yrs benefit each year from the childcare and after-school programme. The programme has been running for four years. Staff plan a range of activities cooperating with other NGOs, such as CamboKids, by sharing resources and knowledge. Activities include first aid, hygiene, library visits, swimming, traditional dance, singing songs, physical play, child rights and basic literacy and numeracy. Mothers accompany infants, learning maternal care skills such as infant nutrition and health.

36 The activities are differentiated by age with older children receiving civil and HIV/AIDS related education. Lunch is provided by NYEMO and there is space for the children to rest. The learning environment is plain, there are child-sized tables and construction equipment has been donated. The children are engaged by their activities, concentrating well on tasks such as drawing and puzzles. There is a gentle energy in the interactions between carers and the children. There are many opportunities for peer teaching and multi-age play groupings. Mothers take turns in volunteering their time to help supervise the toddlers and preschoolers. When they eventually leave NYEMO, women are encouraged to share housing with each other and they often use their experience to care for each other’s children. NYEMO assists mothers to access vaccinations/health care for their children and to enrol them in school as appropriate. Key Statistics Space provided (approx):. 49m2 of open-aired but covered space Teacher/Student Ratio: 1/10 Teacher Training: Head teacher is a social worker. Purpose: to provide childcare for working mothers Funded by: donors and associated business Fees: nil

37 4.3 Private: CamboKids Playground
CamboKids is a local NGO, funded by the Dutch Government, working in the field of mental health care for children who are part of communities which have experienced armed conflict. They provide a playground within an urban centre used by children of all ages. Their goals are to prevent new conflicts and to heal collective trauma (CamboKids, 2004). This project believes that “children are in essence growing organisms, and have an intrinsic power for the regeneration of what they have lost in an environment of violence. This same environment, though, usually prevents the child from starting this process” (Trapman, 2005). CamboKids has, therefore, created a safe environment for playing in. Complete with sandpits, swings, hoops, basketball, water play, dramatic areas, musical instruments, construction materials, dolls and Khmer books. Children come and go throughout the day depending on the school timetable and their interest. They range in age from 3 to about 13yrs. Many live in apartment blocks with little play space making CamboKids and attractive place to be.

38 Their play is facilitated by young adult volunteers (about 30)
Their play is facilitated by young adult volunteers (about 30). These volunteers have received training in counselling, gender sensitivity, racial issues and playing. It is hoped that they will develop successful parenting skills and break the cycle of trauma and domestic violence. There is also an effort to break down cultural stereotypes as Vietnamese migrant children interact with Khmers. Years of animosity have left great tensions between the two cultures, which is slowly being whittled away in these participants as they work and play together. Within this project there is a large appreciation of the benefits of play. It is viewed as serious activity and appreciated for its therapeutic qualities. But it is also fun and much work is done advocating the importance of play amongst the local community. Key Statistics Space provided (approx): indoor areas 150m2 and outdoor playground 500m2 Supervisor/Child Ratio: 1/10 Supervisor Training: ongoing and provided by NGOs Purpose: to provide space for play as a means of improving mental health and reducing stress. Funded by: Donors. Fees: nil

39 4.4 Community: Home-Based Care
In 1997, International Save the Children Alliance commissioned a situational analysis of pre-school education in Cambodia. Amongst its recommendations it concluded that ECCE should be prioritised and that ECCE activities should be better coordinated (Gray, 1997). This case study focuses on the programme developed in response to this study rather than highlighting a particular example. The programme, Home-Based ECCD, implemented by Redd Barna (Save the Children) Norway, aims to provide a link between village-based intervention and ministry-based advocacy. It is anticipated that the pilot will be replicated throughout the country. In the first year it was implemented in 77 villages in 6 provinces, benefiting 3000 children (age 3-5yrs) with expansion planned over the next three years. Home-based ECCD acknowledges that the vast majority of Cambodia’s young spend the vast majority of their day at home (SCN, 1999:17). Utilising the home learning environment is therefore the most effective way to reach as many children as possible. Opportunities to facilitate a child’s logical, linguistic, and emotional intelligences and motor skills abound in daily life. This programme aims to make parents aware of these opportunities and to encourage them to utilise them.

40 After meeting with local School Directors, Village Leaders and Commune Chiefs villagers are invited to volunteer their participation. Traditional care-givers (mothers) are targeted with a Core Parent being identified for every 3-5 families. They attend a short training on stimulating young children using everyday household activities such as going to the market and washing clothes. Core Parents disseminate information within their village, meeting together with other mothers establishing a support network. Home-based care, that is the interactions between parent and child, is improved and children take a greater role in the family. A second layer to the programme is Home-Sited Care. Using concepts of parent cooperatives, mother take turns caring for small groups of children rotating each week. This simultaneously provides childcare for the other families in their cluster and opportunities for social interaction for the children. Some villages have worked together to established playgrounds for this activity, using locally available resources such as tyres and palm leaves to make climbing equipment and playhouses. Again the focus is on stimulating play using a little imagination and activities from daily life. The third layer involves local preschool teachers or staff from the District Office of Education. Once a month a preschool teacher leads more formal activities (games, storytelling, songs) with all the participating parents and their children. This allows teachers to model their skills and for parents to learn new techniques.

41 The multiple approaches of this programme has led to multiple-successes. In programme evaluation Redd Barna have identified improved relationships between parents and their children (of all ages). There are fewer instances of domestic violence against children and mothers speak of feeling more empowered within their marriages. Most importantly there seems to be improved attitudes towards young children and greater expectations of their abilities. Whole villages have mobilised, working together to improve play spaces for their children. Local traditions merge with global concepts of early childhood resulting in improved conditions for early learning. Key Statistics Space provided (approx): private homes. Some villages designate playground spaces. Mother/Child Ratio: 1/1 family; 1/3-5 families; and 1 teacher/1 village. Training: Donor funds cover the costs of training, some resources and evaluation. Purpose: to enable children to receive better home-based care. Funded by: local communities and donor. Fees: nil Photo curtesy of Kung Sakem

42 Back to Table of Contents
5. IMPLICATIONS According to the model of best-practice being adopted in this report (the Primary Years Programme) ECCE needs to be relevant and engaging; to provide opportunities for inquiry, decision-making and collaboration; to stimulate creativity; and to facilitate intercultural understanding. In this section the case studies are critiqued against these criteria. MoEYS operational strategies (based on EFA objectives) are also used to critique the programmes. Indicators for the criteria are documented in Appendix 1. This report’s recommendations are practical suggestions that are not case specific but rather may be applied in general to these and other ECCE programmes in Cambodia. Back to Table of Contents

43 5.1 Comparison with Best-Practice.
ECCD Programme ISPP Mahaleap 2 NYEMO CamboKids Redd Barna International Baccalaureate Organisation Recommendations (IBO, 2001: 2). Relevant and engaging  /  Make active choices and decisions Stimulates creativity and explorative play Encourages inquiry questions Facilitates collaborative work Develops intercultural understanding MoEYS Strategies (2000: 4-5) Accessible to all children in age bracket Children have access to have adequate resources /  Personnel have adequate training Incorporates health components Facilitates effective transition to school Actively strengthening community members’ ECCD skills  Does not achieve criteria /  Partly achieves criteria  Fully achieves criteria

44 5.2 Interpretation By comparing the case studies against the criteria of best-practice and MoEYS strategies it is possible to identify areas of strength and of weakness. The case studies represent diverse areas of early childhood care and education such as formal, non-formal, self-funding, donor-funded, education-oriented and care-oriented. Each, therefore, has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on their purpose and objectives. General areas of competence (over 80% of case studies achieve the criteria) are in providing relevant and engaging programmes; facilitating collaborative work; and facilitating effective transition to school. Areas of strength (over 80% partially/fully achieves the criteria) are facilitating the making of active choices and decisions; accessibility; adequate training of personnel; incorporating health components. Providing a programme which stimulates intercultural understanding is an area of weakness (over 80% partially/do not achieve the criteria). As are stimulating creativity and explorative play; encouraging inquiry questions; providing access to adequate resources; and strengthening community members’ ECCE skills.

45 Given the earlier discussion of education in Cambodia these results are not surprising.
There is dedication within the Government and the NGO community to facilitating successful transition to primary schooling. With high repetition rates for Grade One this is an area of important impact for ECCE, indeed it is the driving purpose of some programmes. Apart from lack of school-readiness, many children repeat because they are under-age. ECCE is providing other opportunities for five year olds and, therefore, reducing under-age enrolment. Collaboration is relatively straight-forward to facilitate amongst naturally social preschoolers and with the promotion of the benefits of group work amongst teachers this teaching methodology seems to becoming more widespread. Providing relevant and engaging programmes is more challenging, yet the majority of case studies have found topics and activities of interest to small children and built on their daily experiences. The Home-Based Care and NYEMO Kindergarten, for example, aim for learning to occur within the child’s home environment, therefore utilising materials and experiences highly relevant to the child. Photo curtesy of Kung Sakem

46 In accordance with the Government’s commitment to accessibility many ECCE programmes are being developed. MoEYS acknowledge in their policy on ECCD that public budget constraints will mean that private enterprise and non-governmental organisations are encouraged to develop services. Many of these will need to charge fees in order to cover costs and therefore restrict access by economic-means. Or expansion will be limited by donor funds and children from neighbouring villages consequently have access to different opportunities. Access to some programmes will be determined by on parent-based criteria such as employment in a particular factory or participating in other organisational activities. Training of educators is one of EFA’s six main goals and is an area of great need in Cambodia. This report has already discussed the need for capacity-building after years of civil war. Whilst much has been done in this area many efforts are stop-gap, involving short-term training at a basic level. Again, it has already been discussed that developing internationally recognised tertiary qualifications is a goal of the Cambodian Government. The preschool teaching course will no doubt be improved as a result of this goal. Child health is a major area of concern in Cambodia with statistics for malnutrition under five years of age around 45%. Most programmes incorporate topics on self-care skills, hygiene and basic health but some go a step further also facilitating the testing of sight/hearing, access to vaccinations and developing parental knowledge of childhood diseases, nutrition and first aid.

47 The greatest challenge to Cambodian ECCE is incorporating higher-order thinking skills. Possible challenges have been explored in the discussion on cultural attitudes to hierarchy and patronage. Decision-making, creative and critical thinking, inquiry and questioning are not traditionally encouraged under such systems. Recent political regimes have further discouraged critical thinking and have actively punished individuals displaying initiative. It may take many more years until adults feel comfortable using their own thinking skills let alone facilitating those of children. Traditional views of education are also impacting the promotion of play. Slowly programmes advocating the benefits of play are encouraging teachers to use games and songs in their lessons, but these are still teacher-directed activities. Child-directed explorative play is often still not considered ‘education’ as it does not involve traditional ‘teaching’. This problem is not unique to Cambodia. The benefits of play are still being accepted all over the world with parents often commenting on the ‘noisy chaos’ of early childhood learning environments. Inability to provide access to adequate resources is most often a budget constraint but work also needs to be done to help programmes utilise locally available resources. Cambodian markets are rich with resources if one uses imagination and ingenuity. Helping parents identify potential toys is one way of strengthening their skills. Providing information on health, non-violent disciplining techniques and child development are other ways to include the community in children’s learning.

48 An international education requires the ability to look beyond one’s own situation and consider that of others. According to Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs many Cambodians are unlikely to engage in such speculative intrapersonal education when they are still struggling to satisfy basic needs such as food and physical and economic security (Maslow, 2005). Similarly, due to their recent history, Cambodians may not have engaged in the discussions and debates theorist such as Piaget and Kohlberg (1968) believe are needed to motivate the development of broader viewpoints and more comprehensive positions. Certainly, it is only economically secure Cambodians who can afford access to the technology that provides so much international and intercultural information. Facilitating these discussions and creating a globally-aware, critically-thinking entrepreneurial labour force is a priority for the economic development of Cambodia. Cross-cultural education focusing on regional relations, such as that undertaken by CamboKids, is a vital step in healing trauma associated with conflict. International education involves representatives from local minorities, such as Vietnamese, Cham and Phong, breaking down stereotypes and establishing cultural understanding.

This report is by no means the first to draw these conclusions about the future actions needed within ECCE. Its strength lies instead in providing some descriptive documentation of the efforts being made towards improving ECCE in Cambodia and presenting this information in an accessible format, especially for those who speak English as a second language and whose interpretation benefit’s from visually stimulating material. As globalisation facilitates the sharing of educational concepts many developing nations are involved in the process of adapting pedagogical theories to their local contexts. Early childhood care and education is an area of vital importance, especially from a perspective of developing a internationally competitive labour force. There are many different strategies for improving the quality of ECCE, each with its strengths and weaknesses. The key is to find the most effective for the most children. Back to Table of Contents

50 A programme, such as Home-Based Care, that strengthens individual parents’ capacities to provide stimulating activities for their children seems particularly appropriate for the Cambodian context as most children are already cared for in the home environment. Home-Based and Home-Sited Care effectively meets the current needs of the majority of Cambodian parents. However, as the local economy moves towards industry and away from village-based agriculture there will be a greater need for NYEMO-style childcare facilities. Teacher training of childcare personnel, particularly in setting up stimulating learning environments, will be necessary. When considering the future directions of ECCE in Cambodia it may be valuable to consider the following statements: multiple approaches to ECCE ensure that different needs are met within the community, activities/resources for the young rely on creativity not on purchasing-power, those facilitating skill development in children need to have developed the skills themselves, learning involves watching, doing, failing and trying again, ECCE needs to be relevant and engaging; to provide opportunities for inquiry, decision-making and collaboration; to stimulate creativity; and to facilitate intercultural understanding. Best practice curriculum, such as the PYP, can be locally adapted.

51 Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?
And finally, consider that early childhood care and education is more than preparing children for formal schooling. Play is an important tool in many aspects of child development, but it is mainly just good fun! You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing.  What!  Is it nothing to be happy?  Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?  Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762 ~

52 Back to Table of Contents
References Ayres, D. (2000) Tradition, Modernity, and the Development of Education in Cambodia. Comparative Education Review. 44 (4) 440 Bennett, J. (2004) Curriculum in Early Childhood Education and Care. UNESCO Policy Briefs on Early Childhood, 36. Cambokids. (2004) Goals and Objectives of Cambokids Phnom Penh: Cambokids. Carnoy, M. (1995) Education and the new international division of labor. International Encyclopaedia of Economics of Education. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Pergamon. Fromberg, D.P. (1999) A Review of Research on Play. New York: Garland Keymann, J. (2002) Social Transformations and Their Implications for the Global Demand for ECCE. UNESCO Policy Briefs on Early Childhood, 8. Gray, I. (1997) Pre-project situational analysis of pre-school education in Cambodia. Phnom Penh: International Save the Children Alliance. Heymann, J. (2003) Role of Early Childhood Care and Education in Ensuring Equal Opportunity. UNESCO Policy Briefs on Early Childhood, 18. International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2000) Making the PYP happen. Geneva: IBO. International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2001) The PYP in the Early Childhood Years (3-5 years). Geneva: IBO. International Baccalaureate Organisation. (2002) The PYP: A Basis for Practice. Geneva: IBO. International School of Phnom Penh. (2005) ISPP: Our Mission. Retrieved October 7, 2005, from Images. Unless cited otherwise photos are taken by Fiona and Peter Pigott. Back to Table of Contents

53 Johnson, D. (Ed. ) (1994) Research methods in educational management
Johnson, D. (Ed.) (1994) Research methods in educational management. London: Prentice Hall. Kamerman, S. (2002) Early Childhood Care and Education and other Family Policies and Programs in South-East Asia. Early Childhood and Family Policy Series 4. UNESCO: USA. Jones, P. (1998) Globalisation and Internationalisation: Democratic prospects for world education. Comparative Education 34 (2) Kohlberg, L. (1968) as cited in W.C. Crain. (1985). Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall. Knight, J. and de Wit, H. (1995) Strategies for the Internationalisation of Higher Education. Historical and Conceptual Perspectives. In the Wit, H. Strategies for Internationalisation of Higher Education. A Comparative Study of Australia, Canada Europe and the USA. Amsterdam: EAIE/IMHE. Marginson (2002) Global schooling and social capital. Educare News. (122) Masemann, V.L. (1999) Culture and education. In: R.F. Arnove and C.A. Torres edsComparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local. Lanham CO: Rowman and Littlefield. Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and Personality as cited in Maslow's hierarchy, societal change and the knowledge worker revolution retreived on 1st November, 2005 from oW33MnvIpWYJ:&tbnh=83&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmaslow%2527s%2Bhierarchy%2Bof%2Bneeds%26hl%3Den %26lr%3D&oi=imagesr&start=3 MoEYS (2000) Policies on Early Childhood Education. Phnom Penh: MoEYS MoEYS (2004) Education Strategic Plan Phnom Penh: MoEYS. Morrison, G.S, and Rusher, A.S. (1999) Playing to Learn. Dimensions of Early Childhood. 27 (2) 3-8. Personal correspondence with Ila Parma and Keith Handbury, UNICEF – Cambodia. Rhedding-Jones, J. (2005) Internationalizing early childhood educators : negotiating (always already gendered) cultures and languages. Australian Research in Early Childhood Education 12 (2) Save the Children Norway. (1999) Early Childhood Development Services in the Context of National Goals of Social Justice and Equity and the Rights of the Poor Child. Phnom Penh: Save the Children Norway.

54 Simons, H. (1996) The paradox of the case study
Simons, H. (1996) The paradox of the case study. Cambridge Journal of Education. 26 (2) Soo-Hyang Choi (2002) Women, Work, and Early Childhood: The Nexus in Developed and Developing Countries. UNESCO Policy Briefs on Early Childhood, 4 and 5. South Australian Department of Education. (2004) ESL in the Mainstream. Adelaide: Dept. of Ed. Stake, R.E. (1994) Case studies. In R. Ribbons and E. Burridge (Eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research. (p ). London: Sage Publications. Trapman, M-J. (2005) Core Concepts. Retreived on 5th November, from UNESCO (2000) Framework for Action On Values Education in Early Childhood. Paris: UNESCO UNESCO (2001) A Global Perspective on Early Childhood Care and Education. Paris: UNESCO. UNESCO (2005) Cambodia Profile. Retreived on 1st November, 2005 from countryProfile_en.aspx?code=4060 UNESCO (2005b) Education for All – Background Information. Retreived on 1st November, 2005 from UNESCO (2005c) Early Childhood Education. Retrieved on 1st November, 2005 from URL_ID=2573&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html Van Oers, B. (2003) Learning Resources in the Context of Play: Promoting Effective Learning in Early Childhood. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 11 (1) 7-26. Yin, R.K. (1994) Case study research: design and methods. 2nd Edition. London: Sage Publications.

55 Appendix One: Indicators of Criteria Achievement
Back to Comparison Appendix One: Indicators of Criteria Achievement Relevant and engaging Activities and units of inquiry are age appropriate and builds on children’s everyday experiences Accessible to all children in age bracket All children in the local area can access programme regardless of socio-economic status Make active choices and decisions Children are encouraged to choose their own activities and contribute to the planning of the programme with opportunities for problem-solving Children have access to have adequate resources Resources are available to stimulate all aspects of a child’s cognitive, social, physical and emotional development Stimulates creativity and explorative play Activities are open-ended and require input from the child There is a range of activities available at one time Personnel have adequate training Personnel have an understanding of child development and can facilitate a variety of age appropriate activities Encourages inquiry questions Adults are responsive to children’s questions Children are encouraged to participate in discussions and contribute ideas Incorporates health components Explores self-care skills with children Instructs families in health related issues including facilitates health checks and vaccinations Facilitates collaborative work Children are able to work in a variety of groups, socialising with others. Activities are complex and there are materials to share between children Facilitates effective transition to school Assists parents enrol children in primary school when they turn six. Equips children with skills such as listening, cooperation and critical thinking Develops intercultural understanding Presents an international curriculum which explores values and attitudes across cultures, negotiates language and involves members of varying cultural communities Actively strengthening community members’ ECCD skills Involves the community in daily teaching activities and extension Facilitates the development of ECCD skills through trainings and observations

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