Lilongwe — ActionAid Malawi has trained 51 Early Childhood Development caregivers from different Community Based Childcare Centers across the country.
Director of Child Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, McKnight Kalanda who presided over the graduation ceremony on Friday in Lilongwe, said the training given to the caregivers would go a long way in ensuring that children acquire quality early childhood development mentorship.
Kalanda encouraged the caregivers to impart the knowledge they had gained in their respective CBCCs, adding that it would be a waste of resources if they abandoned what they had learnt at the training.
"These types of trainings are vital in the country as we value early childhood development as a way of properly bringing up children aside from the formal education that a child receives in schools," he said.
He cautioned the caregivers not to abandon the skills they had acquired as it was a tendency for most caregivers to go back to their old ways of teaching children without encompassing all the aspects that concern ECD.
"ECD involves the overall wellbeing of a child and this we expect the caregivers to look into when they assess the development of a child in their respective CBCCs," he said.
He said since the National Policy on ECD was adopted in 2004, great strides have been made to improve the quality of ECD programs being provided to young children in Malawi.
In addition he said government was looking into ways of motivating caregivers and the issue of incentives which has been a concern for most caregivers was being looked into and soon they will be given a little sum of money which he did not disclose as a token of appreciation.
"Government appreciates the work that ECD caregivers grant to children and it is for this reason that we would like to start giving incentives to them as a token of appreciation," he said.
Kalanda commended ActionAid Malawi for training the caregivers asking other organizations to emulate the good gesture noting that for ECD to be achieved there was need for concerted effort.
ActionAid Program Coordinator for Ntchisi who represented the Executive Director said so far ActionAid has trained a total of 3,300 caregivers from 330 CBCCs in the 10 districts that they are implementing their programs and that they are planning to train 1,500 caregivers in the next three years (2018-2021).
She said they were training the caregivers so that they are able to deliver quality ECD services in the CBCCs and to improve access to quality and sustainable ECD services across Malawi.
"ActionAid is committed to improving lives and wellbeing of children aged between 3-6 years by promoting access to quality and sustainable ECD services in Malawi. We believe in complementing the government's efforts to eradicate poverty and achievement the SDGs," she said.
She said the total cost for the training was K20 million which meant that it cost approximately K400, 000 to train a single caregiver, and she encouraged the caregivers to think of the money spent on them for the training before they thought of curtailing their duties as ECD caregivers.
ActionAid Malawi has trained the caregivers with funding from the Roger Federer Foundation and it is found in 10 districts in Malawi.