A BRIEF ABOUT YOUNG WORLD LEARNING CENTRE (YWLC)
The idea of Young World Learning centre (YWLC) was conceived in 2010 drawing inspiration from our development work experiences and desire to contribute towards the community in Mukono district of Uganda, where we live, by facilitating child development and a good start to the education journey for children 1-6 years. We decided to run the centre as a private – for profit, but with high social impact to guarantee sustainability
Our vision is of a World where all children are prepared for lifelong learning to achieve personal success and fulfillment.
Our mission is to provide a safe and stimulating environment for a holistic child development and school readiness. Our motto is “A good start counts”
We shall achieve our mission by establishing a series of nursery schools under the YWLC umbrella to reach as many children as possible. To date, we have established one centre with current enrolment of 65 children ages 2-6 years. This centre brings together children, their families and the school in a collaborative and supportive partnership, working towards fulfillment and growth of the child.
JUSTIFICATION OF OUR INTERVENTION
Numerous studies have demonstrated the improvements in education, health, social development and economic growth indicators attributable to Early Childhood care and development (ECD). Cognitive and emotional development in the early years yield higher returns as a preventive measure compared with remedial services later in life. Yet early childhood stimulation and development is not well understood and not widely practiced in rural areas of Uganda. Studies indicate that majority of children under six years of age are not achieving their development potential due to poverty, poor health and nutrition, and lack of stimulation and learning opportunities.
The government policy on Early Childhood care and Development leaves service provision to the private sector, while establishing ECD policies and standards to guide service providers. According to the Education Sector Review 2015, only 10.7% of children 3-5 years in Uganda attend Nursery. The vast majority of children are from disadvantaged households and low-income communities do not attend. Children with disabilities are particularly isolated from early stimulation and social interaction.
These children are likely to do poorly at school and to have limited economic opportunities in adulthood. This in turn perpetuates the cycle of poverty and contributes to the intergenerational transmission of poverty, poor health and development. This loss of children’s developmental potential was estimated to lead to a 20% deficit in adult income (Grantham-McGregor et al. 2007). Thus in addition to perpetuating social inequities, poor development has serious implications for national development.
We are guided by evidence that early learning provision is beneficial to educational and social development for the whole population, and that high quality provision produce benefits for cognitive, language and social development, while low quality childcare produces either no benefit or negative effects. We also believe that children from poor families benefit more in socially mixed groups rather than in homogeneously disadvantaged groups
Our program provides such high quality Early Childhood Development program to support holistic child development. We know that the way babies are held, talked to and cared for teaches them about who they are and how they are valued, which profoundly shapes who they will become. The early experiences set a course for a lifelong process of discovery about self and the world, simply put, “a good start counts”.
The holistic program blends health, nutrition, protection and stimulation for children 1-6 years through a triangular partnership of parents and other caregivers, the centre and the community at large. We provide a protective environment for young children to ensure they grow up free from neglect and abuse; that children are born and raised during their first six years in conditions that ensure their survival and optimal physical development; and that young children enjoy a caring and stimulating environment, where they can explore, learn, and socialize.
To make this happen, we employ trained and motivated cares with excellent preparation, ongoing professional development, and compensation commensurate with their qualifications and experience
We seek for innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable ways to solve social problems through our hybrid for-profit organizational structure with optimal social impact. The profit element in our model is meant for sustainability, cross subsidization of our services to the poorest community members, and for taking to scale the impact to other communities
BE PART OF IT:
We welcome any opportunity for partnership in this noble cause and we are flexible to integrate new ideas in our model. The underlining consideration is that generally in Uganda, high quality early childhood care and education services operate in a very price-sensitive market financed primarily by fees from families and supplemented by private contributions. However, many deserving families cannot pay the full cost of quality early learning program. Your investment into our work offers outstanding returns – both in human and financial terms by: 1) ensuring children’s entry, adjustment, and success in their earliest years of primary school education; 2) creating social equity by helping the poorest and most disadvantaged children to realize their right to live and reach their full potential; and 3) ensuring that children are ready for school and parents/communities are ready to support children in their school attendance and learning. Like the World Bank economists conclude; “well targeted ECD programs cost less and produce more dramatic and lasting results than education investments at any other level”.
 van der Gaag, J.; Tan, J. P. 1998. The Benefits of Early Childhood Development Programmes: An Economic Analysis. Washington, DC, World Bank