A day in an early childhood development voluntary center

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) voluntary center is a model center designed by UNICEF, funded by H&MF and in partnership with Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Nourhan Maayouf
The Early Childhood Development (ECD) voluntary center is a model center designed by UNICEF, funded by H&M and in partnership with Ministry of Youth and Sports.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
15 October 2019

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) voluntary center is a model center designed by UNICEF, funded by H&MF and in partnership with Ministry of Youth and Sports. It aims at providing young children with play-based learning opportunities, promoting engagement of youth and local communities in child care. The model is directly aligned with Ministry of Social Solidarity’s national plan for scaling up nurseries, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ vision to transform youth centers into community centers. 

The ECD voluntary centers, established inside youth centers, target children age 2-4 years old, youth volunteers, parents and caregivers in some of the most deprived communities.

The initial target is to establish 25 centers in three governorates; Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan. The centers provide ECD services through a structured play-based program for children aged 2-4 years following MOSS national curriculum, awareness programs for parents and caregivers, and a professional network with surrounding nurseries to enhance peer learning. 

This photo essay depicts two ECD voluntary centers that have been established in Kom Ombo and Edfu cities in Aswan governorate in collaboration with the Central Association for KG Supervisors League. The series highlights the center’s major daily activities for its children as well as the center’s distinguished facilities that were mostly praised by the parents of the children.

The ECD voluntary center opens its doors at 7 am to welcome children.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
The ECD voluntary center opens its doors at 7 am to welcome children.
Every child takes his own photo and pastes it on the wall to mark his/her attendance,  a regular behavior that teaches the child discipline and commitment.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
Every child takes his own photo and pastes it on the wall to mark his/her attendance, a regular behavior that teaches the child discipline and commitment.
Children bring their own lunch box prepared by their mothers. It’s among the class nanny’s responsibilities to keep them in the fridge and provide them to the children at breakfast and lunch times.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
Children bring their own lunch box prepared by their mothers. It’s among the class nanny’s responsibilities to keep them in the fridge and provide them to the children at breakfast and lunch times.
Through a play-based methodology, children are introduced to numbers and alphabets. “Other child care centers approach children academically, and that is not appropriate for this age group” explained one of the facilitators.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
Through a play-based methodology, children are introduced to numbers and alphabets. “Other child care centers approach children academically, and that is not appropriate for this age group” explained one of the facilitators.
In the family corner, children are exposed to a home miniature, where they learn about things they see at their houses such as stoves and washing machines. Through storytelling and role plays, they learn about domestic daily habits and the functions of various home equipment.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
In the family corner, children are exposed to a home miniature, where they learn about things they see at their houses such as stoves and washing machines. Through storytelling and role plays, they learn about domestic daily habits and the functions of various home equipment.
Planting is an activity that is part of the science corner. At this corner, children learn to plant certain crops such as beans. “They expose it to the sunlight everyday and water it every three days” explained one of the facilitators.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
Planting is an activity that is part of the science corner. At this corner, children learn to plant certain crops such as beans. “They expose it to the sunlight everyday and water it every three days” explained one of the facilitators.
In the stories corner, children learn about proper behaviors and good habits in the form of puppet shows or role plays. “Now, my child knows now about personal hygiene” said one of the parents proudly.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
In the stories corner, children learn about proper behaviors and good habits in the form of puppet shows or role plays. “Now, my child knows now about personal hygiene” said one of the parents proudly.
“In the previous center, my son used to come back home unclean with wet clothes” said one of the parents. In the ECD voluntary centers, caring about the cleanliness of the child is a major goal. Children learn to wash their hands before and after meals.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
“In the previous center, my son used to come back home unclean with wet clothes” said one of the parents. In the ECD voluntary centers, caring about the cleanliness of the child is a major goal. Children learn to wash their hands before and after meals.
In every ECD voluntary center, there is a room that is equipped with at least four mattresses for children to sleep or rest during the day.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
In every ECD voluntary center, there is a room that is equipped with at least four mattresses for children to sleep or rest during the day.
One of the major motives for the parents to enroll their children in the ECD voluntary centers is safety and child-friendliness. “The floors are equipped with foam that protects children during play” explained one of the parents.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
One of the major motives for the parents to enroll their children in the ECD voluntary centers is safety and child-friendliness. “The floors are equipped with foam that protects children during play” explained one of the parents.
Parents are asked to write their requests and complaints and put it in a box; a simple communication tool that allows the ECD voluntary center to monitor and develop its own performance. This tool also keeps the anonymity of parents and hence encourages them to speak out freely.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
Parents are asked to write their requests and complaints and put it in a box; a simple communication tool that allows the ECD voluntary center to monitor and develop its own performance. This tool also keeps the anonymity of parents and hence encourages them to speak out freely.
“My son is very active and likes to have a wide space to move” said one of the parents. Being part of youth centers, ECD voluntary centers make use of spacious green areas for children to play and get a good exposure to sunlight.
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
“My son is very active and likes to have a wide space to move” said one of the parents. Being part of youth centers, ECD voluntary centers make use of spacious green areas for children to play and get a good exposure to sunlight.