Building Brighter Futures for Marginalized Children in Asia Highly Ranked

Early childhood education

Project trains women in Asia’s low-resource communities to establish high quality daycares, empowering them to secure a brighter future for marginalized children and their families.

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Research has proven that nurturing care during the first 1000 days of a child's life is crucial for healthy brain development. Yet, each year, over 250 million children are deprived of loving care and fail to reach their full potential physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially. Lack of quality early care significantly undermines their future educational prospects, heath, and prosperity and the social and economic growth of their communities and their countries. OneSky educates women in low-resource communities across Asia to establish high-quality early childhood programs that set children ages 0-3 to succeed in school and in life. The training, consisting of in-person and distance learning modules, will be scaled from a training hub in Hong Kong. The project will provide local women a chance to develop a professional skill and young mothers an opportunity to find work thus lifting families out of poverty and boosting local economies.

Problem Statement

Less than 1% of women living in poverty have access to quality, affordable child care services Subsequently, they either quit working when their children are born - causing deeper family poverty – or leave children home alone or in substandard daycares that lack the capacity to provide stimulating learning experiences. This global trend results in a multi-generational poverty trap for women and children who make up the majority of the world’s poor. Due to lack of investment, inadequate policies, and poor infrastructure, entire generations of children in developing parts of Asia are falling behind. Entrepreneurial local mothers sometimes fill the gap in services by opening up daycares in their homes, but unfortunately, due to lack of training, these women are unable to deliver what young children need for healthy development and cases of abuse and neglect are frequent. The resulting physical, cognitive, social, and emotional delays caused can affect the trajectory of children’s lives reduce their ability to successfully contribute to their society in later years.Recent studies indicate that the rapid development of technology will result in more than half the low-skilled and routine factory jobs being wiped out in less than 20 years. New jobs will require complex skills that today’s workers do not possess. If we ignore the developmental needs of disadvantaged children during their earliest years, what hope do they have? But if we reach children early enough we can build a foundation for their future while also helping strengthen fragile families and communities.

Solution Overview

From our training hub in Hong Kong, OneSky will build the early childhood care and education capacity in China, Vietnam, and Mongolia by hiring local women and training them to train others in the OneSky Approach. The local trainers will go on to train women entrepreneurs in low-resource communities to operate OneSky-inspired daycares. The “momtrepreneurs” will be supported by an online learning community where they can access a network of peers and trainers, find specialized courses, and find a solution to everyday challenges. This simple approach provides a proven solution to several complex and inter-related challenges defined by UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. By training women to implement high quality early care programs, the project generates jobs for women, advancing mothers’ access to employment, lifting the family out of poverty and improving children’s development. Trainees realize their pivotal role and ability to reverse the negative effects of multiple risk factors that most vulnerable children face. With the presence of a knowledgeable and a loving adult in their life, the children meet their developmental goals, growing up to be productive members of their communities. Over the five years of the grant period we will reach 5,000,000 children by training 175,000 women in China, Vietnam, and Mongolia. We aim to instill systemic change and policy change. We will know that we are making progress when our government partners will adopt and scale our methodology, when the children in our programs will thrive and the women will be empowered to make a difference

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Project Funders

  • Grand Challenges Canada 2019 - 2020
  • Porticus Foundation 2018 - 2019
  • Lorinet Foundation 2019 - 2021

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