Though Whole Child’s program has evolved over time, many of our elements have stayed the same. Among these are the “Five Essential Childcare Principles” listed on our “Program” page — these core ideas have remained at the center of our work since 2004. The other key elements on that page remain the same also, but as we have shifted our focus to the comprehensive support of national governments, we have also been able to focus the elements of our program into six key steps for building the capacity to create meaningful, sustainable change:
- Local academic community
• University faculty receive training and mentoring in order to update their academic knowledge.
• Updating this knowledge at the academic level ensures a pipeline of local professionals with the knowledge and skills they need, in perpetuity.
- Government decision-makers
• attend Whole Child’s university course on best practices in limited-resource settings.
• receive hands-on support and mentoring to implement the necessary changes across the system of care for children.
- Childcare center and residential care directors
• attend our university certificate program on best practices in childcare in limited-resource settings.
• receive support and mentoring to implement relationship-centered, evidence-based best practices in centers.
- Government supervisors of childcare centers
• receive two years of training and hands-on support focused on creating capacity to be the leaders on implementation and monitoring of quality in residential care and early-childhood care and development centers.
- Children’s Direct Caregivers
• receive nine months of training to improve quality of care and strengthen relationships with children.
• receive hands-on support to implement the changes in childcare practices in their centers.
- Residential Care Centers
• in addition to the implementation of best practices described in bullet 3, we work with residential care centers to broaden the scope of their work to include family reunification and support, running small-scale foster programs, & appropriate monitoring.
The next installment of this series, “Our Before & After,” paints a brief picture of what a typical childcare system looks like before we arrive, and what a system looks like after we have completed our work.