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Local partnerships boost early learning in El Salvador

El Salvador Early Education
Children play with plastacine at play centre in school built by Plan International in partnership with HSBC

The Community-based Comprehensive Early Childhood Care Circle (CAIPI) [KD1] is a model where mothers, fathers and families actively participate as primary educators. It promotes shared responsibilities among community leaders, the family, local government and Ministries of Education and Health, for the care, attention, early education and protection of children aged 0 to 6 years in rural communities in El Salvador.

Each CAIPI is administered by a community development association (ADESCO) together with the local government. A community assembly elects the educator who will be responsible for the early childhood activities at the CAIPI. They offer services three times a week to 30 children and their mothers or caregivers, in two groups: 0 to 3 years in the morning and 4 to 6 years in the afternoon. This initiative currently reaches 990 girls and boys.

Plan International has been implementing the project since 2012. It is funded by local governments, Plan International employees[KD2] , Banco Davivienda employees, a toy store company and Plan International’s own funds. At present, there are 33 CAIPI operating; 14 are 100% funded by local governments, 18 have partial funding and one is run with funds raised by Plan employees. Plan offers an initial investment to equip the CAIPI, but the local government commits to continue financing it.

The aim is to have local governments assume 100% of all CAIPI funding and ensure the long-term future of this service. The CAIPI is a low-cost model (US$112 annually per child) with a comprehensive approach, so it has great potential for growth at national and regional levels.