Early Childhood Development

Children in class

World Literacy Canada’s early childhood education programs guarantee a child’s right to an education, offering them a head start on life-long learning.

Responding to the call of mothers attending our adult literacy classes, WLC developed a curriculum and trained teachers to deliver Early Years programming for boys and girls at Balwadi (pre-school) Centres.  Women enrolled in Adult Literacy Classes have an opportunity to enroll their children in pre-school classes.

The Balwadi Centres operated daily primarily for pre-school aged children 3-6 years and were sometimes attended by children up to the age of 12 who have never enrolled in school.

WLC found that by giving young children from low-income backgrounds a head start on school, children’s full time school enrollment increases, and they have improved academic performance, reduced attrition, and drop our rates. When children attending the Balwadi Centres were ready for Grade One, WLC teachers helped their mothers enroll them in local schools.

Once a child has started attending regular school, WLC provided children who are underprivileged with books or school uniforms, and access to WLC’s well-equipped libraries. Additionally, WLC also offered a tutorial program which allows children to stay on top of their school work, get homework help when they need it, and also provided them with personal support and counseling.

Most of WLC’s advocacy work around education and early childhood development had been done at the community level, through our field staff talking to parents about child care, health and nutrition, the rights of the girl child, and the benefits of enrolling children in school and encouraging them to remain in school until high school graduation.