Our hybrid and integrated approach not only significantly improves the school readiness of pre-school children, it also positively impacts mothers and government service providers.
We have a simple structured programme that is delivered through and strengthens government systems, and is designed to be implemented in remote, resource-poor rural communities where the need for ECCE is highest. Having spent 11 years implementing and optimising the programme we are ready to scale, with global potential.
The situation in Ghana
91 pupils per trained kindergarten teachers in Northern Region (EMIS 2015)
23% teacher absenteeism (Transparency International, 2013)
Less than 20% proficiency in English and Maths of children in primary years 3 & 6 in Northern & Upper East regions (2011 National Education Assessment)
Rote learning in kindergarten and "lack of understanding as to how children should learn and how teachers should teach" (The 2012 Ghana Education Service KG Improvement Plan)
Low education attainment for women: Median education attainment for women of 0.0 years in the Northern Region and 2.9 years in the Upper East Region (Ghana Demographic & Health Survey, 2014)
9% access to improved sanitation: only 9% of rural families have access to improved sanitation facilities (WHO, 2015)
94% of mothers have not completed primary school (our baseline surveys)
The situation in Uganda
Gross enrolment kindergarten ratio of 11%
56% primary school completion rates [World Bank]
40% of Uganda’s population is below five years old (National Development Plan II for ECD 2015)
60% of our mothers have not completed primary school (our baseline surveys)
17% access to improved sanitation: only 17% rural families in Uganda have access to improved sanitation facilities (WHO, 2015)
How we measure impact
As we are a single-cause organisation with just one flagship programme, it is hugely important to us that we know how well the programme is working and that we use our learnings to make improvements.
To do this we:
administer detailed assessments on children, mothers and teachers in our Play Scheme communities and also in waitlist control communities at baseline and then 3 and 6 months after the Play Schemes are open. These examine the cognitive and social skills of the children, frequency of disease incidence, use of play and stimulation at home and wellbeing.
monitor all Play Schemes regularly and collect data to check on attendance and performance levels.
carry out interviews and focus groups to get richer insights from mothers and teachers.
Our results are carefully analysed by our Monitoring & Evaluation Officer.
23% reduction in teacher absenteeism
53% increase in assessments results
53% increase in play at home
62% reduction in diarrhoea
46% reduction in malaria
110% increase in play at home
108% increase in assessment results
We are seeing dramatic and lasting improvements in the education, wellbeing and health of the children, mothers and teachers in the programme.
Between 2017 and 2018 a rigorous Randomised Control Trial of our programme in Ghana, conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Innovations for Poverty Action showed positive impact on all development domains; cognitive, socio-emotional and health. Mothers showed improved parenting practises and knowledge of ECCE.