What is ECCE?
Early childhood refers to the period between birth and 8 years of age, wherein a child’s brain is highly sensitive to the environment around them. This time of remarkable growth opportunity, requires a specialized educational approach to ensure that children learn key skills and foundational concepts to prepare them for later life.
ECCE (Early Childhood Care & Education) is more than preparing a child for primary schooling. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. ECCE focuses on critical developmental milestones, skills and concepts which children attain during early childhood years; from social-emotional skills to the beginning of numeracy, literacy and critical thinking.
In addition to preparing children for future academic success, investment in ECCE (Early Childhood Care & Education) is globally considered as a key economic indicator when assessing the health and future positioning of a nation.
ECCE Policy of Punjab
According to the Punjab ECE Policy (2017), SED (School Education Department), Government of the Punjab is committed to ensuring that “all children ages 3 to 5 achieve their cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional and physical potential and transition to primary school successfully”. ECE policy 2017 predominantly serves as a guideline to plan, implement monitor and evaluate ECE service delivery across Punjab.
Through PHCIP (Punjab Human Capital Investment Project), School Education Department, Punjab is refurbishing 3400 ECCE classrooms in 11 target district of Punjab, under the component of Bunyad.
Bunyad aims to promote access to quality ECCE services of children from age 3 to 5 years. The component specifically focuses on inclusion of socioeconomically vulnerable households and help ensure that their children achieve strong foundation learning outcomes in order to prosper later in life. The project aims to sensitize parents and communities on impact of quality ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education), Child Safeguarding, Gender Equity in Education, Clean and Green initiatives, Sanitation and Hygiene.
What Encompasses Bunyad?
SED (School Education Department), Government of the Punjab aims to achieve the following milestones as part of PHCIP’s Bunyad programme;
- Refurbishment of 3400 ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) Classrooms in 11 target districts of Punjab, through minor repair and thematic wall paints
- Provision of ECCE kits, age-appropriate furniture in 3400 schools
- Training of 3400 Head Teachers, 13600 teachers, 3400 caregivers and 3400 School Council members on ECCE pedagogy and management
- Training of 1300 AEOs (Assistant Education Officers) on ECCE leadership skills to improve governance and service delivery
- Setting-up reading corners in grade 1, 2 and 3 to promote love for reading and enable smooth transition from ECCE to pre-primary
- Establishing first ever live student tracking system to evaluate students’ transition rate from pre-primary to primary grades
- Training of in-service primary teachers to enable them to support children transition from ECCE to primary grades