Today, more than 2500 balwadis are running across the country reaching approximately 60,000 children.
We believe when children attend pre-school there is a significantly higher chance that they will continue into primary school and will have a better set of school readiness skills.
Balwadi - Providing Pre-school education
The Balwadis provide pre-school education to children in the age group of 3-5 years. These are run in urban areas where children from low-income families do not have access to an anganwadi center run by the government or any other pre-school facility run by the private sector including other NGOs.
The Balwadis are run in the community itself - in temples, under the tree, in the house of the instructor or of another community member. No rent is paid for the space in which the Balwadi is run and the location is always close to the child’s home.
Approximately 20-25 children gather in the class every day for about 3-4 hours and learn to engage with numbers, shapes, colours, stories, poems and songs. The teacher belongs to the same community as the children. She is identified and trained in early childhood care and education by the Pratham team and also provided with teacher learning material. The Pratham team monitors the progress of the Balwadi on a regular basis.
The Balwadi classes build the social, emotional, motor and cognitive skills of the children, thereby preparing them to adjust to the school atmosphere. This also helps tackle the problem of retention and achievement at a nascent stage. The Balwadis provide spaces for these young children to collect and spend time in productive activities. Since, most of their parents are illiterate and unable to help their children in early childhood education, the Balwadis are seen as big help.