OneSky Approach: Scaling Responsive Care Across Asia

The Childcare4All campaign seeks to lift up the work happening at the country level to raise awareness and advocate for political commitments to strengthening childcare systems. The partner blog series highlights the challenges to building stronger childcare systems across different countries and contexts as well as the work of local partners to overcome those barriers. This post shares OneSky’s work in Vietnam.

Twenty-five years ago, OneSky embarked on a journey to bring love and responsive care to infants in child welfare institutions in China. The goal was to create safe and nurturing learning environments across the country so that vulnerable young children could receive the foundation they needed to thrive. Acknowledging the universal need for quality childcare, especially for children who had been abandoned, neglected, or affected by migration, OneSky expanded its services to Vietnam and Mongolia over the years. Since 1998, OneSky has trained 75,489 dedicated caregivers and transformed the lives of 286,545 children across these countries, revolutionizing early childhood care and education. 

With an approach that includes internationally recognized training methods and curricula, OneSky partners with governments and communities in Asia to provide responsive care and safe learning environments so vulnerable young children can thrive. OneSky advocates for and supports systems-level change, first, by directly implementing its programs to showcase how its evidence-based approach is making a difference in the lives of the children and families they serve. They then support NGO and government partners to take programs forward at scale. Throughout the process, OneSky’s country and global teams monitor results, refine programs as needed, and form critical partnerships with community members, NGOs, and governments. 

During their most formative early years, children impacted by economic migration often lack the stability and safety of a permanent home with consistent daily care and learning opportunities. Whether they are left behind in rural villages or migrated to distant cities, these children may survive but are unlikely to thrive. OneSky aims to level the playing field for these children by giving them the quality early care and education they deserve. 

In Vietnam’s industrial zones, factories employ approximately 3.5 million migrant workers, often women with young children. For these low-wage migrant workers and their children, public kindergartens are out of reach due to local residency requirements, and private preschools are cost-prohibitive on a factory worker’s salary. An independent childcare (ICC) provider industry has emerged there as a response to the high demand for and limited supply of childcare in industrial zones. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) estimates that there are over 16,000 independent childcare providers, most of whom are entrepreneurial local women who have historically received limited recognition, resources, and training. 

In 2017, in partnership with the Da Nang provincial government including its Department of Education and Training (DOET), OneSky launched a national demonstration Early Learning Center (ELC) in the Hoa Khanh Industrial Zone to provide quality care and education for 250 children annually and support their factory worker parents through a family caregiver training program. Family caregivers attend an 18-session, five-month training that equips them with the knowledge and tools to provide their children with consistent responsive care and loving attention. OneSky’s demonstration ELC also showcases best practices in early childhood care and education to government and NGO delegations. 

In 2018, OneSky expanded beyond its work at the ELC to launch a pilot independent childcare provider training program based on the OneSky Approach—responsive care, to empower local women to be skilled, respected early childhood professionals and to improve the quality of childcare in their communities. The 11-month training program blends classroom sessions with on-site mentoring visits and is underpinned by OneSky’s 1Big Family online learning platform, which creates an ongoing community of practice. OneSky has directly implemented its training in four provinces and delivered it in one additional province through a partner NGO with a training-of-trainers approach.

Over the past two years, in partnership with MOET in Vietnam, OneSky has co-led a working group of early childhood development experts across research, academia, and government sectors to develop the national guidance and curriculum for early childhood education in independent childcare centers. More than half of Vietnam’s national curriculum for childcare providers is now based on OneSky’s Approach. 

Going forward, OneSky will work with MOET to launch a “training-of government-trainer” program to scale their ICC training program to nine more provinces. Master trainers will train government-employed early childhood education professionals (public kindergarten principals, vice principals, and key teachers, for example) to become government trainers. They, in turn, will deliver quality training to the independent childcare providers who run their own childcare centers. OneSky demonstration sites will be set up in each province to showcase best practices.

Over the next five years, OneSky and MOET will endeavor to improve the care of more than 100,000 children below the age of six living in Vietnam’s industrial zones. 

 

By the OneSky team.

 

If you’re interested in sharing the challenges and opportunities to strengthen childcare systems in your country, please email info@ecdan.org.  

To learn more about the #ChildCare4All campaign, visit https://www.childcare4all.org/ 

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