Early Childhood Development

Are you working in the field of Early Childhood Development? Or in a related field – health, education, nutrition? Child Development is important for us all because the future of every country is bound up with the quality of its future adults. We need them to be as healthy as possible, as bright and hard-working and productive as possible.

Currently most South countries are involved with providing better nutrition, healthcare and basic education but in other blogs we have talked about programmes that add to this – they help build good parental skills.

A recent UK Open University paper looks at programmes for improving parental skills. They are all in North countries but have lessons for elsewhere. The programmes try to build skills such as listening to children and keeping them safe.

http://www.comminit.com/early-child/content/supporting-parenting

The paper says “The quality of parent–child relationships is significantly associated with (among other aspects):

  • Learning skills and educational achievement. Children’s reading ability is associated with the reading environment around them and there is evidence that parental involvement with school is associated with achievement.

  • Social competence .... Parental warmth, lack of conflict, and control and monitoring appear to play an important role in developing children’s social skills.

  • Children’s own views of themselves. Including their sense of self-worth”.

A key strategy is home visiting with a clear agenda and goals.

Another agency, the NSPCC, uses an additional strategy which South countries could learn from: they provide printed or downloadable leaflets for parents themselves: for example a leaflet on keeping children safe:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/guides-for-parents/home-alone/home-alone-pdf_wdf90656.pdf.

and one on managing anger:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/guides-for-parents/keeping-your-cool/keeping-your-cool-pdf_wdf90721.pdf

These small-scale publications can be translated into the language of ethnic minorities – here is one in Arabic:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/guides-for-parents/worried-about-a-child/worried-about-a-child-arabic-pdf_wdf90893.pdf

Give us feedback: here at Networklearning we sometimes provide examples and materials meant for the North. Do you find it useful? Or do you find the context too different? Please let us know. Teach us how to do better!