Defending Dignity. Fighting Poverty.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE & DEVELOPMENT

THEMATIC PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Background:  There have been significant improvements in education in Mozambique. The abolition of school fees in 2003/04 along with other investments have resulted in a surge in primary school enrolments. Primary school enrolment now is at 97%, however primary school completion rates have been stagnating at around 47% over the past few years. A 2012 study by UNESCO estimates that approximately 775,000 primary school aged children remain out of school.  In addition, only 4 per cent of children below 6 years, mostly in urban areas, have access to any kind of state-funded early learning opportunities which often means that children are not ready for school, contributing to low learning and dropout. 5

History: In Mozambique, current government early childhood development (ECD) strategies focus on preschools. Likewise, CARE’s initial efforts to provide ECD opportunities to young children also focused on preschools as our entry point into poor rural communities. Unfortunately preschools can only reach a limited number of children each year, and not the vast numbers of vulnerable children nationwide whose parents or caretakers have not had access to information to improve their parenting skills. Although CARE made significant efforts to reach out-of-school children, our school-based approach somewhat limited our ability to meet the developmental needs of the many young children who were not enrolled in preschool.
 
Current Programs: In Mozambique CARE is testing alternative ECD models to complement the current pre-school based approach. With our partners we are currently testing, refining and documenting the impact of the Masungukate approach. The Masungukate model is  an innovative home based ECD approach designed by CARE to provide support to caregivers on how to ensure that their children aged 0 to 5 years old achieve potential cognitive, physical, emotional and language development through the use of the adapted Essential Package. Thanks to a grant from the Hilton Foundation, the Masungukate model is being implemented following an extensive design phase informed by formative research. The research and design have been conducted in close collaboration with relevant government authorities in Inhambane province, including the Provincial Department for Gender, Children and Social Welfare. 

Recent qualitative research (October 2015) of the Masungkate program indicates that caregivers: use less corporal punishment;  have an improved relationships with their children, both men and women play more with their children ;  feel more  supported and less alone ; are  learning life-saving health information and are  beginning to apply some of this information by adopting practices such as exclusive breastfeeding. 

5 Source: UNICEF 2015
 

 

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CARE’s COVID-19 strategy rests upon the delivery of life-saving prevention and response activities to the most vulnerable societal groups and populations in countries in which we work. Simultaneously, CARE will apply a resilience approach to build future capacities at community, household and individual levels to prevent the re-emergence and spread of the disease.[CLICK HERE]

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