The excellent benefits of stimulation during the early childhood years has been well established in the past few decades through in-depth research in neuroscience. Results of a twenty year research project in neuroscience released in the year 2012, showed that the more high quality mental stimulation a child gets around the age of four, the more developed the parts of their brains dedicated to language and cognition will be in the decades ahead.
Yet, in India, the Early Childhood Education has highly insufficient focus on quality, especially for children growing up in low-income communities. In the government-run Anganwadis (child-care centers), an anganwadi worker manages as many as six services at a time for about 40 – 60 children in her classroom and/or for all women and infants/toddlers in the surrounding communities: supplementary nutrition, non-formal education, nutrition and health education, immunisations, health check-ups and referral services. What’s more, she receives very little prior training on how to provide cognitive stimulation to the children. While the private-run preschool sector is rapidly growing in India, most private preschools have an inadequate understanding of child development, especially in low income communities. Hence, majority of preschool settings in the low income communities don’t implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum, which can be highly detrimental to the child’s ability to grow up to his/her potential.
Our preschool program addresses this very issue. Following are the broad objectives of our preschool program.
- Create a high-quality, research-based and developmentally-appropriate curriculum for preschool children in low income communities that uses high-impact learning processes where all children can develop and progress holistically.
- Deliver the curriculum as a supplemental and portable program that meets very high quality standards, that can be implemented in existing classrooms that preschool children attend in low income communities.
- Measure the absolute and relative progress of children within and across developmental areas using a method that is non-threatening to the children.
We believe that such a preschool program will be a springboard for potential high achievers to gain a strong foundation necessary for later years of development.
Since 2012, we’ve been working on developing a working model for this preschool program. We are also in the midst of a discovery process with the following questions in mind. The answers to these questions will help inform the next steps to take in order to achieve our core-intent.
- What characteristics define a high achiever?
- Can we discover this potential to achieve, at an early age? How do we discover it?
- What and how much exposure is needed at early ages of an individual to put children on an advanced learning trajectory?
Click here to read about our preschool program design.
Click here to read about the progress we’ve made made to date with developing a working model for our preschool program.