Standards of ECD Center

Early Childhood Development (ECD) program is increasingly being popular day by day due to its vitality in the formation and development of foundation in children’s later life. The need and demand of ECD program has increased in the recent years.. The concerns of the key stakeholders of ECD program grew along with the increase in the number of ECD centers in the country.   As a result, the MOE developed Minimum Standard for ECD to ensure quality services in the ECD centers. Now after years of practices of ECD as per the Minimum Standard, this study was launched to find out the status of ECD centers particularly those supported by SCI in 21 districts of the country. While exploring the status of ECD centers, mainly eight areas of ECD centers were assessed namely, (a) Physical infrastructure of the ECD centers, (b) Health, Nutrition, safety and Sanitation, (c) Learning materials at ECD centers, (d) outdoor environment, (e) ECD management committee, (f) human resource and (g) document management. Tools were developed to find out the status of these eight components of ECD centers mainly focused to obtain quantitative information from the target ECD centers of the 21 different districts in Nepal. The tools assessed these components based on the National Minimum Standard of ECD centers developed by DEO.Those ECD centers which were found to meet almost all the criteria mentioned in the National Minimum Standard in corresponding areas of ECD centers were categorized as A. Similarly those which were found to meet the criteria of National Minimum Standard about 50% and above were categorized as B. In the same way, those which met below 50% of the criteria suggested by the National Minimum Standard were categorized as C. The finding included that each area of the ECD centers under this study is both poor in some ECD centers of some districts and proficient in some other ECD centers of some other districts. In most of the districts, The ECD management committees of a large number of ECD centers under this study were proficient. For example, there is not even single ECD center under this study recorded in category ‘C’ in Tanahu district in terms of document management and learning materials at ECD centers. However, there were some areas of ECD centers under this study which were waiting for further support, for instance document management, human resource and quality environment within the centers.