265 – Mobile Kindy Fiji: Changing the face of early childhood development in the Pacific, one community at a time

Presentation - ECV2022-265

Mobile Kindy Fiji: Changing the face of early childhood development in the Pacific, one community at a time

Analesi Tuicaumia, Director of Child Benefit Fiji and Mobile Kindy, Fiji (analesi@childbenefitfiji.com)
Temesia Tuicaumia, Education Specialist, Fiji (temesia.edu@gmail.com)
Rachel Spackman, DFAT New Colombo Plan Scholar interning at Child Benefit and Mobile Kindy, Fiji (r.spackman98@gmail.com)

Background: Mobile Kindy Fiji is a not-for-profit organisation providing high quality early childhood care and education to the most disadvantaged children in and outside Suva, Fiji. At Mobile Kindy we believe that without equity not all children will thrive.

Aim: To expand Mobile Kindy across the Pacific, one community at a time.

Method: We have tailored a multisectoral approach to early childhood development throughout our 13 Mobile Kindy Schools. Instead of having children (aged 2–5) travel from their villages to school, we bring the school to them. We have created a Mobile Kindy Kit that we use to transport the necessary resources for teaching and learning to and from each Mobile Kindy site. Since starting Mobile Kindy in 2009, we have seen a significant increase in school readiness in children entering formal primary settings, an improvement in community wellbeing, and the positive development of the children. We have tracked this growth by conducting case studies comparing the academic progress of children who have had gone through early childhood education with children who have not, with our case study students currently in Form 1–2 and progressing above average compared to those who did not have access to early childhood education.

Results: Through our intentionally designed program we have fostered academically resilient children who are school ready. Children are also exposed to healthy living habits that support their health and wellbeing as they mature. Parents, caregivers, and communities are empowered with knowledge, skills, and services to support positive parenting, whole-community education and health, wellbeing, and a range of issues relating to early childhood development. 

Conclusions: Mobile Kindy is a frontier service combining all elements of early childhood development. Mobile Kindy takes policy and implements it on the grassroots level by paving the way for disadvantaged rural communities to access quality education, healthcare, and social services. 

Implications for children and families: Supporting young children’s early childhood development is important. 

Implications for practitioners: There is a lack of quality education and relevant professional development for Pacific practitioners. At Mobile Kindy, we offer teacher training through our Pacific Nations Institute.

Key words: innovations, vulnerable communities, regional/rural communities, multisectoral approach, Indigenous voices

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

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