The Early Childhood Caregiver Professional Development and Certification Program1 is an innovative project funded by DFID and designed and implemented by Education Development Center, Inc (EDC). The project's key objectives are:
- Train and place unemployed female youth as early childhood development (ECD) caregivers, and
- Promote better school readiness among children attending those centers.
Participating young women were trained by two local implementing partners in a new play-centered approach to teaching pre-primary students that focuses not only on children’s cognitive development (literacy and numeracy skills) but also prepares them for school (physical development, and social emotional development). Upon completion of the ECD caregiver training, the young women are placed in participating ECD centers where they work as interns to implement holistic child-centered ECD practices and strategies in working with pre-primary children. In addition the project aimed to garner support for holistic play-based ECD instruction through raising awareness and mobilizing parents, ECD center directors and the community around evidence-based holistic child-centered ECD instruction. Further, given that ECD methods currently were not taught at the TVET level, the project focused on gaining support at the government level to incorporate ECD teaching methods into the TVET curriculum.