Community-Based Approaches to Early Childhood Development

Jacqueline Hayden and Sithu Wai

in Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199922994
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980420 | DOI:
Community-Based Approaches to Early Childhood Development

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Community-based programs are a major service delivery outlet for early childhood programs, especially in underresourced and developing contexts. They provide scope for identifying and analyzing specific community issues and for prioritizing, designing, and managing activities at the local level. As such, they are often associated with grassroots accountability, efficiency, community participation, empowerment, and sustainability. However, there are potential pitfalls. The reliance on voluntary participation can result in skewed representation and exclusion of marginalized groups; there may be difficulties in building capacity and overreliance on imported technical assistance; and there is a danger that agencies directing community-based programs can misrepresent true community needs and/or reduce issues to fit their own terms of reference. Perhaps most concerning, community-based programs can mask government inattention and perpetuate marginalization. We provide a list of investigating questions to guide the assessment of early childhood development (ECD) programs according to principles that transcend governing structure, auspice, and/or label.

Keywords: community-based programs; early childhood programs; nongovernmental organizations; program governing structures; community participation; volunteer participation

Chapter.  6135 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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