Over 250 million children under age five globally do not get the early childhood care and education (ECCE) they need, leading to poor health, poor education, lost life opportunities and poverty. Lively Minds is an award-winning Non-Governmental Organisation tackling this crisis in rural Ghana and Uganda.
We believe that one of the main barriers to ECCE is that parents in remote, resource-poor villages lack the information, education and aspiration to provide basic and affordable opportunities for their children. We have developed an innovative, behaviour-change programme that empowers marginalised, poorly educated Mothers to run educational Play Schemes for preschoolers, and to provide better home-based care using cheap, local resources. Not only does this result in positive outcomes for child development, but it also has positive impacts for the Mothers too.
These are exciting times for Lively Minds. In Ghana, we have recently received results from a Randomised Control Trial conducted by independent evaluators Institute for Fiscal Studies and Innovations for Poverty Action, which demonstrate that the programme has a positive impact on a wide range of child and mother outcomes. The Ghanaian Minister for Education has expressed his commitment to support the scaling up for the programme. We are now working with National Government and other stakeholders in developing our 2020-2025 plans to scale the programme across 60 rural districts in the northern regions of the country, reaching approximately 4,000 kindergartens. During this period, Lively Minds will act as technical consultants, ensuring that Districts embed and sustain the programme.
Elsewhere, our programme in Uganda is in a test and position-for-scale stage with the long-term aim of national roll-out. Our long-term goal is for the programme to be adopted in several countries in the developing world, so that it can have a large impact in tackling the global early childhood development crisis.