In course of practicing quality ECD National Seto Gurans ran ECD in Action program with the help of Save the Children, Nepal in 24 districts in the year of 2005. In the end of 5th years of its commencement it felt need of evaluating ECD in Action program in terms of its relevancy, effectiveness and impact to the target people and place. To fulfill the need as such three districts ( Baglung, Tanahu and Udaypur) were selected from among those where ECD in Action program had been running. Three ECD centers from each district under this study were selected as sample size. Parents, facilitators, children, District Seto Gurans (DSG) personnel, members of ECD Management Committee (MC), VDC secretary, etc. were selected as key informants to generate data. FGD, interview and field observation were adopted as tools to gather information for the study.
‘ECD in Action’ program contributed in bringing change variously among the parents, members of management committee, children and facilitators in their perception, actions and behaviours towards ECD program and the children under it. First, it increased access for ECD services among children. Second, it arose awareness towards the needs and importance of ECD services among the parents and community members. As a result, their participation increased in promoting ECD program in the community under this study. They began to donate their time, energy and money to flourish ECD centers. Third, it brought desirable changes in behaviors, actions, life skills and activities of children at home and community. The holistic development of a child through games and play became popular and the sense of treating children with love, affection and kindness increased among facilitators and parents. Fourth, ECD national curriculum was implemented effectively and ECD resource center became the site for learning for novice facilitators. Fifth, it helped the facilitators to be more competent in planning for contents, designing learning materials, implementing ECD curriculum, managing ECD classroom for effective learning. It, thus, helped to improve knowledge, skills and attitude of facilitators.
Some notable impacts of ECD center’s managerial and pedagogical practices were observed. Children’s performance at primary education became better than the children of non-ECD background. Parents and community members began to support ECD centers in terms of developing its infrastructure, facilitators’ salary (in some cases). ECD practices were seen positively at district level line organizations. As a result they began to allocate budget for ECD in the district. The facilitators of ECD centers which were not within the focus of ECD in action also began to approach ECD process adopted by ECD in Action. Children began to greet and communicate with strangers, the guests, their teachers and parents more openly and pleasantly.
Parents began to be aware of managing good food and sanitation for helping children in healthy way. Children began to present their feeling, ideas and emotion openly and approach their teachers and parents independently to get their problems addressed. Learning through games, songs and activities became interesting and pleasant among them which they began to express before their family members at home. The children began to repeat their learning themes/ contents in their home environment in the way they had learned at ECD center. The efficiency of facilitators in delivering ECD services in the classroom increased. They began to create songs and poems, games and activities independently which were suitable enough to run pedagogical practices as per ECD curriculum.