Early childhood care and education

78.2 percent of 3-5 year old children in Bhutan have no access to ECCD programs, or only 21.8 percent of the children have the access.Save the Children in Bhutan has been partnering with Ministry of Education, Royal Government of Bhutan, to implement ECCD programs since 2008.

In the recent past, under the GPE-ESPIG project, the activity -Improve access to and quality of ECCD for 3-5-year-old childrensupported the establishment of 34 ECCD centres in partnership with the ECCD & SEN Division of Ministry of Education. The project expects to increase the children having access to ECCD programs to 38 percent by 2021. In addition, educators are trained on quality assessment for ECCD programming.

We also support the diploma training  ECCD facilitators at the Paro College of Education to improve the quality of ECCD centre programs.

Institutionalising Playful Parenting through Prescription to Play Project for 0-3year-old children

In September 2019, Save the Children – Bhutan Country Office in partnership with the Ministry of Health launched Prescription to Play (P2P) for 0-3-year-old children with funding from LEGO Foundation. The projectwas a scale-up of the successful piloting of Building Brains common approach through an approach of playful parenting that complemented the LEGO Learning Through Play Framework.

The project will primarily build caregivers’ capacity in playful parenting that will promote early stimulation and responsive caregiving and over a period of 3 years, benefit 56,464 children.

Most children in Bhutan miss out on opportunities that shape their young brains due to caregivers’ lack of skills and motivation to play. Bhutan has 26% of 0-3-year-old children with the risk of not reaching their developmental potential. P2P’s vision is to improve young children’s play ecology with equity, by offering an intensity of services which commensurate with the level of need.

We developedcomprehensive evidence-based Behavior Change Communication (BCC) strategy for female and male caregivers focusing on howto provide intensive support to children with developmental delays and disabilities. This strategy hasfour components - mass media campaign, advocacy, community mobilization and interpersonal communication, drawn from global best practices, including Alive and Thrive strategy to promote infant and young child feeding for the same age group.