ECCE programme aims at repositioning the AWCs as a Vibrant ECD Centre providing joyful learning environment with emphasis on dedicated 4 hours of ECCE sessions covers developmental priorities for each sub stage within the continuum, i.e. care, early stimulation/interaction needs for children below 3 years, and developmentally appropriate preschool education for 3 to 6 years old children and with a more structured and planned school readiness component for 5 to 6 years old children.
In line with the National ECCE Policy 2013, State specific, developmentally and age appropriate Annual Contextualized Curriculum termed as “AADI PAADI VILAIYADU PAPPA” has been developed by ICDS and the same has been validated by Government of India. This curriculum consists of theme based activities for 11 months to be conducted for children at AWCs, 12th month being the revision of the same. Necessary Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs) viz. ECCE Curriculum Books for AWWs, Activity Book, Assessment Cards and Pre-school Education Kit materials for children has been provided to all Anganwadi Centres. ECCE Training to enable AWWs to understand the concept and policy is given in cascade manner to provide comprehensive care and early learning opportunities to the children.
A sum of Rs.8.00 crore has been provided in the Budget for implementing the programme during the year 2019-20.
In order to encourage the parents to send their children to Angawadi centres, the Government has issued orders for the introduction of Montessori Education based LKG /UKG Classes on pilot basis in 2381 Anganwadi centres in 32 districts located within the Government Middle school premises in convergence with School Education Department
The scheme helps in increasing the enrolment of children in Govt. schools, improving their learning skills, developing reading and writing ability of competencies in English language, imparting good primary Education and reducing the economic burden of parents.
Anganwadi centres functioning in the middle school premises comes under administrative control of Directorate of Integrated Child Development Services, Social Welfare & Nutritious Meal Programme Department and Preschool related activities will be handled by the teachers of School Education under the supervision of the Head Master / Head Mistress concerned.
This programme is implemented on pilot basis for three years and further continuance shall be decided based on the outcome of the evaluation report, done by third party firm.
To motivate the parents to send their children to Anganwadi centres, thereby increasing the attendance of the children who attend Anganwadi centres, so as to provide them with nutritious food along with pre-primary education, two sets of stitched readymade colour uniforms @ Rs.262.50 per child is being provided in 10 districts namely, Chennai, Vellore, Theni, Tiruchirappali, Dindigul, Villupuram, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Nagapattinam and Tirunelveli. The programme is being implemented exclusively out of State funds. Every year around 3.80 lakh beneficiaries in the age group of 2 to 5 years are being benefitted under this programme.
A sum of `9.95 crore has been provided in the Budget for implementing the programme during the year 2019-2020.
Childhood Education (Per School)
In accordance with National ECCE Policy 2013, State has developed a new curriculum named “Aadi Padi Vilayadu Pappa (APVP)” adopted in all Anganwadi Centres. It is an ECCE Programme in Tamil language and of minimum 4 hours duration to children studying in AWC. It facilitates an enabling and stimulating environment for children‘s long term holistic development and learning. Based on this curriculum, Preschool is conducted for 5 days in a week. (i.e) Monday to Friday to children.
In the curriculum, one theme is chosen for one month. Each session is planned for around 20 minutes, based on the children’s attention span. Developmentally and age appropriate activities are planned to make the curriculum more child friendly and challenging for three weeks. The fourth week is meant for revision. Both long term and short term planning (weekly, monthly and yearly) has been designed to develop the curriculum.
Some activities are made routine to foster a sense of self confidence among children. Both small group and large group, self directed and adult initiated, structured and unstructured, active and passive activities are planned to achieve smooth balance between sessions to children. Themes have been selected based on the relation to the child’s physical social environment, self, relationship with people focusing on understanding of the world around.
ECCE curriculum books for AWW’s and activity books for children are now available at all AWCs. AWWs are also trained on ECCE Policy & Curriculum and also to transact the curriculum with some focus on health and nutrition aspects to look into each sub stage within the early childhood up to the age of six years. Assessment cards and child profiles are also being utilized to track the children’s learning outcomes with age appropriate developmental mile stones to be achieved by them. Preschool completion certificates are also being given to children leaving AWCs to join primary schools. It also encourages the community to utilize the services of AWCs for ECCE to their loving children.
Monthly fixed ECCE Day celebrations on every 19th of the month is being utilized as platforms to inform the parents about their children’s progress on health, nutrition and early learning for further improvement. State ECCE council has been formed to support, strengthen and monitor the state ECCE activities provided to all children under six years through ICDS centres and also by other private partners.
Pre School / Teaching Learning Materials to support the curriculum has been developed, printed and supplied to all 54,439 centres in Tamil Nadu by the State Training Institute, utilizing the fund sanctioned under preschool kit for AWCs. Charts for Thematic conversation, Flex banners for Picture Reading, Flash cards for story telling classes have been developed for all Eleven Themes (My Self, Flowers, Vegetables & Fruits, Dolls, Water, Transport, Animals, Festivals, Our Friends, Seasons, Trees, Plant & Creepers) along with English & Tamil alphabets with word, Number and Picture dominos are distributed to all AWCs for teaching children. Balance amount is also utilized to give play materials like balls, soft toys, small cycles, Plastic vegetables & fruits kits to AWCs.
Preschool education kits are supplied to each Anganwadi centre @ the cost of Rs. 5000/- (including Training) per main AWC/mini AWC per annum including the cost of Pre School Kit and activity book etc. Anganwadi Workers are provided with skill training to develop play and educational aids.
AWWs are all trained on ECCE Policy and State specific curriculum for six days in Phase –I Training by State & District level Master Trainers on line with Training Schedules approved by the Ministry of Women and Child Development / Government of India.
Monitoring Indicators developed by NIPCCD, New Delhi, is being utilized for the time being to track the delivery of Preschool at AWCs. These monitoring indicators are translated into Tamil and given to Master Trainers during ECCE Training to inspect and support the Preschool activities by all supervisory staffs during the centre visits. Based on these indicators, the availability and usage of supportive materials to ECCE, class room management, maintenance of learning corners, quality of ECCE activities organized, maintenance and use of assessment cards / Child profile etc., are being monitored by the supervisors and other field functionaries during their centre visits.
Separate Assessment cards for all three age groups (2-3, 3-4 and 4-5) and child profile for each children are being utilized to assess the learning outcome of children based on age appropriate developmental mile stones prescribed in the materials. For two to 5 years age groups, the assessment cards developed by the WCD / GOI, New Delhi are being utilized after translating into Tamil. In the same way, State has developed child profile by referring book on Early Childhood Education Programme by Venita Kaul – NCERT Publication to utilize it as supportive tool to observe and monitor the development of children on routine activities in the Anganwadi Centres.
The above study Report about the performance outcome for ICDS doing 2016, reveals the fact that 84% of AWCs are conducting ECCE Day regularly. It has also been mentioned that 97% of beneficiaries are able to reach the AWC by walk within 10 minutes. Regarding child learning, it is informed that 90% of children were able to identify body parts and shapes and 3/4th of the children identified colours rightly. It also concluded the findings about preschool by mentioning that there was no majordifference in learning habit with respect to gender, location, residence or beneficiary status.