“Early child development (0-8 years) is considered to be the most important phase to determine lifelong health, well-being, learning and behaviour. A comprehensive approach early in life, which attends to the environment of a child and provides high quality child-care and family support can improve chances of success throughout life.” (WHO, Early Child Development Knowledge Network)
ECD stands for Early Childhood Development. ECD period is important for a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional growth and change. Through ECD education, it is possible to stimulate a child’s brain which increases and improves their learning ability, communication skill and cognitive process. The age of ECD (0-8 years) is a vital time of every child to develop. The development in this age of time leaves a child with significant footprint which is base for its future progress and opportunities. During 0-3 years of age, the development of a child is fully dependent on the parents or caregivers: how motivated they are and how much effort and time they can spare for their children. Parents or caregivers need to do variety of activities for the children to stimulate their brain. After the age of 3, a child starts to do things by its’ self and develop new skills with help from others who provide them with motivational tasks, stories and games. The children learn to read and write and recognize colors, shapes and numbers etc.
There are 200 million under-5 children in the world, who are deprived from their development potential due to poverty, poor health and nutrition. They also lack stimulation and learning possibilities. Majority of these children belong to developing countries. In Bangladesh, there are an estimated number of 9 million children in the age group of 3-6. Although the most recent Government plans include preschool classes in 80% of the government schools by 2015, early childhood development has received little attention. Due to severe budget and capacity constraints, it is not currently a government priority. For that reason, it is also not a donor priority, with a few exceptions.
Eminence is running four Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in different slum clusters in the capital city, Dhaka. The ECD project of Eminence is called PROVATEE. Two of the ECD centres are situated in Mirpur 13 (the north western ward of Dhaka city) in its east and west Baisteki Slum while the rest in Mohammadpur (central Dhaka), Beribadh slum areas. Eminence is providing free ECD service to 100 children in those slum areas. There are four trained and skilled caregivers who are provding care for these children. PROVATEE provides opportunities for enjoyable learning and promote a sense of uniqueness and confidence and this helps children to communicate effectively and boost the interaction skills with others.