The ECD Innovation Fund: A Partnership for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean
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The ECD Innovation Fund currently has a portfolio of 18 projects across seven countries for a total of $9.8 million. Across Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, and Uruguay, we are attempting to tackle a range of issues – from empowering grandparents in skipped generation households in the Northern Triangle, to evaluating a foster care system in Brazil, to working on ECD in post-conflict areas in Colombia. Learn more about each project by clicking on the boxes below.

An Overview of the Quality of Services and the Development of Young Children

Mexico – This study will provide an assessment of the quality of public child care services for children under three years of age. It will document the relationship between quality in service provision and child development, and how this is affected by other characteristics of the child and the family.

Attendance and Quality in Preschool Education: Empowering Parents through Information

Uruguay – This project will empower parents, strengthen relationships between families and centers, and allow governments to get real-time information about the services provided by 400 preschools. Through ParentIN and CheckingIN, clear and concise messages are sent to families to increase parental awareness of the importance of preschool for future life outcomes. Approximately 200 centers and more than 38,000 children will benefit from this intervention.

Children Raised by Grandparents in the Northern Triangle

El Salvador – This project finances the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot program to support families where children whose parents have emigrated are being raised by their grandparents. The analysis of this experience offers lessons and best practices for the benefit of El Salvador and other countries in Central America.

Delivering Parenting Interventions Via Group Meetings

Boa Vista, Brazil – This project finances the evaluation of a model that integrates activities to strengthen parenting skills into the health services received by families that are part of the Bolsa Familia program. This service focuses on pregnant women and families with children under 36 months of age.

Early Institutionalization Intervention Impact Project

Sao Paulo, Brazil – This project will evaluate the effects of a new foster care program on child development. It will also enhance the quality of the existing institutional care alternative. Ultimately, this project aims to generate scientific evidence on the best form of care for children who are under the care of the state.

ECD in Rural and Disperse Post-Conflict Areas

Colombia – We are supporting the redesign and evaluation of the Family Modality (parenting program) for early childhood development. The project develops content, a work methodology, and a feasible implementation strategy to operate in rural areas and in the municipalities prioritized by the Peace Agreements.

Fostering Social and Emotional Learning in the Early Years

Colombia – The program will pilot and evaluate the Think Equal (TE) program in 100 public preschools to contribute to ending discriminatory mindsets and cycles of violence. TE´s curriculum gathers best-practice resources and tools for socio-emotional learning that will be adapted to improve the pro-social behavior of children 3-5 years of age.

Medium-Term Impacts of Access to Child Care

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – This project finances the medium-term evaluation of an effort to expand access to child care centers for low-income children. It is the first project in the region to evaluate the medium-term impacts of these services implemented at scale through an experimental design. The evidence generated by this evaluation will be relevant across the region given that many LAC countries have increased the coverage of child care centers.

Playing Together

Mexico – Play is a key component of parent-child relationships, a springboard for lifelong learning, and a driver for the development of social and emotional competencies. This project will help train facilitators from the country’s largest national parenting program to better empower families to support children’s development through play.

Public-Private Co-responsibility in Center-Based Care

Costa Rica – This project will implement innovative public-private financing schemes of early childhood care, tying them to quality improvement processes. It aims to engage the private sector, while promoting quality services and the insertion and permanence of women in the labor force.

Reach Up: Evaluation of Process, Impact, and Cost at Scale

Jamaica – The Reach Up early childhood parenting program will be scaled up as a national home-visiting program by the Jamaican government. This project will evaluate the implementation of the program, assess the impact of the intervention on child development and parenting, and develop a cost assessment and cost-benefit analysis of this effort.

Sharing the aeioTU Network to Improve ECD

Mexico – This project will adapt the aeioTU educational model to the context of Mexican child care and early education centers, building an in-service training program that can be rolled-out at scale.