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Nurturing Future-A Trial Project for Healthy Growth of Infants and Young Children in Poor Rural Regions

area Preschool Education
Organization Rural Education Action Plan (REAP)
Year 2015
Region Shaanxi
URL reap.fsi.stanford.edu/zh-ch

Nurturing Future-A Trial Project for Healthy Growth of Infants and Young Children in Poor Rural Regions, designed and implemented by Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, CAS(one of REAP members), aims to strengthen the early childhood development intervention for infants and young children in poor rural regions, enhance their healthy growth and effectively promote the human capital of China’s rural regions.

Rural Education Action Plan (REAP), launched by Chinese Agricultural Policy, CAS, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, and Center for Educational Experiment and Economics, Shaanxi Normal University, aims to inform sound education, health and nutrition policy in China with its focus on helping students in backward areas to receive quality education and amassing human capital. A series of Lancet’ reports on child development in developing countries show that, 0-3 years old is the most critical time for infants’ brain development. REAP’s survey on nearly 2,000 6-12 month infants in 351 sample villages in poor western regions of China reveals that there is a wide gap in infants’ nurturing and scientific parenting among parents (guardians), and these parents(guardians) also lack access to scientific parenting knowledge.

Therefore, the project team is planning on randomly selecting 10 administrative villages to set up centers for early childhood development, through which, the project will provide parents of infants in poor regions with nurturing and feeding knowledge, parenting concepts, and education training. Toys will also be used to help facilitate such activities as parent-child games to promote the sound growth of infants in poor regions. In the meantime, the project will further improve the training brochure for nurturing knowledge for infants and parent-child game course wares that are appropriate and needed for rural residents, and conduct an assessment that compares results of experimental group with that of control group. Feasible approaches to address the root causes that lead to the slow development of children in poor rural regions will be explored, and policy recommendations will be referred to relevant bureaus to help improve policies on promoting early childhood development in poor rural regions.

Macao Tong Chai Charity Association provides funding for the renovation of centers for early childhood development, toy purchases, daily administrative management and staff training.