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The Start Program – Online and Offline Integrated Rural Early Education Mechanism Exploration

area preschool education
Organization Chengdu Tongmeng Social Worker Service Center
Year 2018
Region Chengdu, Sichuan Province

Carried out by Chengdu Tongmeng Social Work Service Center, the project aims to test the intervention model, mainly focusing on interactive online community activities while adding offline collective activities for families with 0-3-year-old children in low-cost rural scattered areas, supporting the child caregivers – mainly mothers, to raise their awareness of the notion of life as education, and enhancing their interactive skills with their children as well as the quality of interaction. Through this, the project hopes to improve children’s early development, preparing for their life long development.

Chengdu Tongmeng Social Work Service Center has been focusing on the insufficient support of 0-3 infant development for urban low-income families and rural families. Parents or caregivers of these families generally do not realize that their parenting behavior is closely related to the physical, cognitive and emotional development of infants and young children, so it is easy to have highly controlled or completely laissez-faire parenting style, which directly leads to the cognitive and emotional development of children born in these families lagging behind the national average level. In 2017, the Association supported Tong Meng to explore the home visit model in the countryside. The results show that by training local mothers to become instructors and implementing home visits regularly, the nurturing behavior of caregivers could be changed to a certain extent, including reading more picture books for children and developing some games suitable for children. However, in the promotion of this operation model, the replicability of the model is limited because of the relatively high human cost.

Therefore, after exploring the mode of online training for low-income families in Chengdu, Tong Meng plans to explore the mode of combining online and offline training for caregivers – mainly mothers, in rural areas. Parents will gradually improve the way of interaction with their children in daily life by learning offline parent-child courses once or twice a month and completing homework twice a week, guided with trainers’ comments, thus slowly changing the concept of nurturing. If this online-based and offline-assisted intervention model is effective for specific user groups (mainly mothers) in rural area to change their parenting concepts and behaviors, then the cost of project intervention can be effectively reduced, and the possibility of future replication and promotion can be higher.