Examining the Contexts, Practices and Costs of Early Childhood Care and Education in India: Responsive Models for Child Development

This project aims to tackle the problem of how to scale quality early childhood care and education by analysing the contexts, practices and costs of early childhood care and education for disadvantaged families/communities in Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
Project status

While India has one of the largest state-based Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programmes in the world, a significant proportion of marginalised children do not have access to institutions providing quality early childhood care and education. With over half of children under five years of age living in poverty, with persistently poor outcomes related to health and education, improving the quality and reach of early childhood care and education is an urgent policy imperative.

There is a driving need to ensure that early childhood care and education are responsive to community practices and contexts. ECCE policy and institutional practices in India have been largely informed by norms that have emerged from outside the communities of their enactment, shaped particularly by theories of child development that have been developed in the West. A central aim of the study is to identify the concepts and practices of care and education of children within disadvantaged rural families, many of whom are from tribal communities, and to understand how institutional ECCE provision can be more responsive to the historical, cultural, political and economic contexts of child development in these communities. The research seeks to draw on ethnographic inquiry with families, communities and ECCE providers in the states of Bihar and Tamil Nadu.

Principal Investigator: Dr Jyotsna Jha, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, India

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