Alternative Educational Services for Early Childhood Development  

Early education is crucial and benefits the success of every child in school and later in their life as an adult.  
Studies show that the PISA scores of children, who have been in kindergarten for more than 1 year, are 40 points higher than those who have not attended. The earlier a child is exposed to educational programs, the better for his/hers cognitive, socio-emotional, motor development and communication, whether they take place at home or in an organized learning environment.  

TSA supports the dissemination of alternative educational services, based on music, work with children’s tales and educational play, in places without access to early childhood education services. The initiatives are based on the Element of Play program developed by the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.

We currently support the development of alternative educational services in community centers and kindergartens in the Targovishte municipalitythe Lukovit municipality and the Oryahovo municipality through cooperation with local NGOs and community centers in the municipalities. Trained representatives of non-governmental organizations with pedagogical experience, as well as pedagogues from local kindergartens are involved in the implementation of the initiative.

The added value of the initiative can be seen in several aspects: 

  • Promoting child development and learning through music, children’s tales and educational play – promoting the five areas of child development – fine and general motor skills, cognitive development, socio-emotional development and communication, by integrating the programs into the curriculum. This will influence retaining and attracting children to kindergarten and improving their school readiness
  • Encouraging the involvement of parents in activities inside and outside the kindergarten in order to increase their skills and knowledge about early childhood development
  • Upgrading the skills of experts and pedagogical teams to apply new approaches tailored to the specific needs of children and improving the learning environment
  • Increasing the local capacity by developing a partnership between a non-governmental organization, a community center and a kindergarten in order to achieve sustainability of the model

TSA is a pioneer in implementing an assessment tool for child development among children involved in the activities of the initiative, as well as a control group. The Early Human Capability Index (eHCI), developed by Dr. Sally Brinkman and Dr. Angela Kinnell and applied in numerous countries around the world, both developed and developing economies, is used for baseline-endline diagnostics.

The test covers four of the five main areas of human development in children aged 2 to 6: cognitive, socio-emotional, language, initial/ nascent literacy (language and mathematics), and approaches to learning.

TSA’s partner in the implementation of the initiative is the Worldwide Orphans Foundation Bulgaria.