Professor Faculty of Child Development Indira Gandhi National Open University
With 1.4 million Anganwadi centres (AWCs) across India, and 1 AWC every 400-800 people, the Anganwadi project is a signal of the Government’s commitment to improving Early Childhood Care & Education. After 40 years, significant improvements to child nutrition, cognitive development indicators, and infant mortality rates are evident. Yet behind the rapid expansion and statistics, many AWCs are lacking the institutional capacity to operationalise and manage intended early childhood education programmes. As AWCs’ decentralised and all-in-one support structure hold great potential to be the hub for collaborative action for better early childhood outcomes, it is crucial to explore how they can be ready for this in the new education policy environment.
This discussion will explore how cross-sector partnerships can meaningfully address the challenges facing AWCs to become not only care and nutrition centres, but also be critical levers for better foundational learning for India’s children.
- What are the local resources needed to address pressing infrastructural, structural, and manpower needs in AWCs? How can these be provided by the private and policy sectors?
- What are some cross-sector collaboration models that can be explored with AWCs to create better outcomes for early childhood care and education? How have private and policy stakeholders worked together to make these models sustainable?
- Given the potential role that AWCs can play in scaling up impact in early childhood education under the NEP, how can the policy sector catalyse more long-term multi-sector collaboration opportunities with them?