Learning from an early age

Save the Children runs early learning programs in the Philippines to improve the school readiness of young children while also improving parents' skills so they can support their children's development.

The first five years of a child’s life is crucial to their development. During this time, children have significant brain growth and develop emotional, social and language skills. Filipino children who participate in our Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programs are more likely to successfully complete school and become productive adults with higher household incomes who ensure their own children go to school.

Our Early Childhood Care and Development programs

We run ECCD programs in urban, rural and remote areas throughout the Philippines, giving children under the age of six the chance to learn and play. We help children from diverse backgrounds, including ethnic groups, and encourage learning in mother tongue. Save the Children also works closely with families and caregivers, as well as government day care centers, to provide safe environments for these children to develop and learn in. We further support communities by ensuring pregnant mothers and their toddlers have access to maternal and child health services, as well as holding positive parenting sessions. 

Education through play

Through regular playgroups for children - often run by trained volunteer parents, Save the Children is ensuring young children start learning their ABCs and 1-2-3s through fun play activities such as games, songs and dances. At the same time, they're also getting used to being in a learning environment. This helps children move smoothly onto kindergarten and grade 1 as they get older. In 2014, we hope to reach at least 28,900 young children through our ECCD classes.

We are also able to monitor children's development and we have a referral system for children with special needs - this allows us to support parents with disabled children and helps makes sure they stay within the education system. At present, an estimated 3% of disabled children attend school regularly and we aim to improve on this.

Involving parents in early childhood 

Many of the parents taking part in our ECCD programs are attending positive parenting classes as well as health, nutrition and hygiene sessions. As their children start their education journey, we are providing parents with advice, skills and vital links to government services so they are equipped to further support their children. We also train those parents who are able to volunteer so that they can help with the running of playgroups in their community as well as support other parents. This year, our goal is to give over 36,100 parents these crucial skills in early childhood development.