Early Childhood Development Unit
To create a spiritually and physically balanced, novel social system, by supporting holistic development of children.
On par with national policies and standards, the Child Development Unit shall promote optimal physical and intellectual and psychosocial development of children through interventions and programmes, with the goal of holistic development of the total community.
Originating from Sarvodaya’s early holistic child development concept dating back to the 1970s, Sarvodaya’s Early Childhood Development Programme has continually developed and evolved to become the nucleus of Sarvodaya village development efforts. Through a network of over 1,500 Sarvodaya Child Development Centres (preschools) strategically built across the country, it now offers an array of services, encompassing both the mental and spiritual development for over 150,000 children and 100,000 mothers.
Following the initiation of the Early Childhood Development Programme in the 1970’s. The Sarvodaya Singithi Sewa Unit was established in 1972 and was later renamed to the Early Child Development Unit (ECDU) to focus initially on children between the ages of 3-5 years, but with the longer-term vision of supporting children until the age of 16 years.
Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD)
The Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) follow a pre-schooling model. Preschool teachers are trained by Sarvodaya and work as full-time volunteers. Their volunteer activities are integrated into village development activities, and local mothers are encouraged to assist by contributing food and other requirements.
The ECDU activities are mainly focused on the following sectors.
1. Health and nutrition
2. Early childhood education
3. Child safeguard and protection
4. Parents, family, and community
5. Investment for early childhood safeguard and development
The ECDU’s significant experience and political participation in grass roots communities has allowed it to adopt an advisory role in development of early childhood policy at the national level. It is involved in developing curriculums and standards for child development centres, and regularly collaborates with the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs.