Presentation - ECV2022-253
Background: Recently, the female employment rate in Bangladesh has increased as education levels have improved. Therefore, there is a high demand for childcare centres in urban areas and working women require quality childcare centres to raise their children. Childcare refers to care provided to infants and toddlers, preschool children, and school-age children, in their homes, in the homes of parents, or in community settings.
Aim: This case study was undertaken to explore access to, quality and vision of children’s childcare centres’ services in an urban area in Bangladesh.
Method: To explore the problems and prospects of childcare centres’ facilities, this case study identified an urban-based childcare centre in a metropolitan city of Bangladesh by convenience sampling. The data were collected through observation, interviews with parents and management, and document review. This paper presents data from 12 monthly meeting notes, 12 attendance records of the last 12 months of 96 students and the nine months’ report cards of a child to observe practice.
Results: Access: Over the past 12 months, children’s enrolment rates have increased. The centre increased from two sections in 2021 to five in 2022. However, the centre primarily provides facilities for children from middle to high income families in the catchment area. The parents, teachers and administrators were satisfied with the quality of the centre’s activities, programs, facilities, and services. The study found evidence of a positive association between quality and children’s learning outcomes. However, the research identified areas of difficulty, including a lack of teacher specialisation with early childhood education qualifications, limited facilities for outdoor activities, no systematic documentation, and a lack of governmental early childhood development (ECD) initiatives for middle-income families’ children.
Conclusions: The demand for childcare centres in urban areas for middle-income families seems to be creating a paradigm shift in the field of ECD in Bangladesh. Therefore, quality care is needed for children’s education, health, and well-being.
Implications for children and families: As the number of working mothers increases, it is hoped that this will increase the availability of quality early childhood educational environments for children and act as a support system for the working parents.
Implications for practitioners: While opportunities for childcare centres in urban areas are growing, few entrepreneurs or government initiatives are being launched. This is an avenue for practitioners to address to increase more quality childcare centres that ensure social justice for all children.
Key words: families’ voices, professionals’ voices, community services, urban communities, qualitative methods, case study
This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: