In each country of service, Whole Child works with a prominent university to develop a disciplinary focus on childcare and create an infrastructure for training significant numbers of caregivers and other stakeholders in high-quality care for vulnerable children. These programs serve to prepare current and future professionals to implement best-practice-based systems of care, and they guarantee sustainable, permanent change that is led by the country’s own community of practice.
With our partners, the University of Central America and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, we have developed and implemented two educational and training programs:
University Certificate Program
We designed our university-accredited certificate program to establish a comprehensive set of best practices in childcare in limited-resource settings in the developing world. The academic outreach component of Whole Child’s program builds up local academic capacity over time while also considerably reducing the cost of the training trainers — a key component of our program. We offer this program to center directors, government personnel, and other stakeholders. The university certificate program, as implemented in Nicaragua, is a full day of courses per week for eight months. Whole Child developed the curriculum (see Publications for more information) for this certificate program with Loyola Marymount University and the University of Central America, and will continue to adapt it for every country of service.
We provide training and direct technical assistance in the application of optimal childcare practices to typically undereducated and ill-prepared center caregivers and support personnel. Our caregiver training takes place once a month for nine months and is complemented by many additional days of hands-on assistance for all caregivers who are directly responsible for the care of children. Please see our Publications page for an introduction to some of the materials we have developed for this training process.
To explore how these academic partnerships impact life for children in a country’s orphanages and low-resource childcare centers, please visit Whole Child’s Notes from the Field, a blog written by our field staff and the U.S. team.
Our graduation ceremonies at the end of our training courses and certificate programs honor professionals ranging from government ministers to key care center administrators to the technical staff and the caregivers who devote their lives working with some of the most vulnerable children in the world.
For many of the caregivers, the ceremony can be an especially emotional event: for some, it is first time they have ever been formally honored for their knowledge, commitment, and the importance of the work they do.