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Integrated Development Centers

© UNICEF/DR/2004/Cappelletti

Examples of Experiences in Child-Friendly Municipalities

In the framework of the Municipal Agendas for Childhood (in Spanish) , UNICEF’s office in the Dominican Republic is supporting government institutions and non-governmental organisations in the process of improving integrated child development spaces and centres, with the aim of ensuring that the under-five age group receives quality care and that these centres can become care models for the rest of the country.

The strategy for improvement involves training staff in formal and informal educational methodologies, with a diploma on the “Roles and Responsibilities of Local Actors in Integrated Child Development”, as well as the design, printing and distribution of training guides, equipping centres, and following up and monitoring the care services that are being provided.

Eleven municipalities have been identified, where the process of working on training and identification of care spaces for children under the age of five has already begun, and these will be strengthened and equipped with the relevant materials and methodologies. These municipalities are Jimaní, Bani, Yaguate, La Romana, San Pedro de Macorís, Bayaguana, Miches, Dajabón, Mao, Manzanillo and Montecristi.

© UNICEF/DR/2004/Cappelletti

What the Municipalities need in order to promote integrated child development

In order to define the needs for integrated child development in the eleven municipalities selected, UNICEF-Santo Domingo has supported and accompanied the Early Childhood Care Office (DAPI) in conducting field visits, as well as the local authorities and civil society, in drawing up Agendas for Childhood, in which they analyse the situation of children in different age cycles between birth and the age of eighteen.

Meetings and discussions have served as a starting point for defining several areas where improvement and cooperation is needed:
Staff training with the aim of providing integrated care for girls and boys in all spheres: education, health, nutrition, advice in cases requiring legal intervention, psychological support and development through non-formal strategies.

Infrastructure and material resources. The few existing spaces for integrated child development lack usable materials as well as furniture and educational materials.

The need for a strategy for working with families, to improve the development of children under the age of five. There are no family-based projects in the target municipalities. This requires mobilising parents and the community so that they carry out joint actions that will benefit their children.

Training and educating teachers and agents specialising in working with children under the age of five and with non-school care modalities that are flexible and realistic.

Helping create local networks for improving local government capacity and promoting young people’s participation, participation by non-governmental organisations, church groups and university students, among others.

Preparation/adaptation and/or adjustment of materials – guides, manuals, videos – with an integrated vision. Updating existing documents and preparation of materials for volunteers and auxiliary workers.

 

 
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