FAMILY INVOLVEMENT IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT

The formative years of a child are pivotal to determine and shape the future. The kind of environment, stimulation and learning he/ she receives is imperative to boost socio-emotional, cognitive, language skills and physical well being. Early Childhood Care and Education do not get the necessary recognition in Pakistan and provinces are lagging behind in literacy. Sindh province has a population of 47.89 million with a literacy rate of 31%. There are around 6.67 million out of school children in Sindh and 1.87 million belong to the primary school going age of 5-9 years old. In 2017, the Sindh government has introduced an Early Childhood Care and Education policy to reform the most neglected developmental domain, but despite the efforts ECD is not accessible to the whole population.

With the aim to foster and promote Early Childhood Care and Education in Sindh, specifically increasing the outreach to poor communities with no access or means to learnRupani Foundation established Family Involvement in Child Development center.FICD is a Montessori-based ECD program for children ageing from 3 to 6, which creates an opportunity for parents and other family members to play an active role in their child’s healthy nurturance and prosperous well-being during the child’s formative years. FICD primarily supplements the formal ECD schooling by engaging children and parents in their ECD tasks twice a week. In this model, parents along with their children sit in a classroom setting and carryout activities assigned to them. At the instance, the Foundation is running 5 FICD centres in Sindh with 3 levels; Beginner, Intermediate and Advance. This initiative was introduced with the aim to bolster school readiness and smooth transition process from ECD to the mainstream education system. Focused areas of learning in FICD are communication & language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, creative arts, literacy, mathematical skills, adaptability to culture through inculcating culture relevant skills and behaviours.