Playdate+ is a key component of Save the Children’s Project Brightstart, an initiative that aims to strengthen and support the implementation of the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) in the Philippines. The NCF is a framework for early childhood development that proposes five inter-related components of nurturing care, which is essential in helping children survive and thrive. To support Playdate+, we developed Information, Education, and Communication (IECs) materials, assessment, and monitoring tools for parents and caregivers living in Antipolo having children aged 0-3.
Built on Research
According to recent studies in the Philippines, services for children aged 0-3 traditionally focus on health and nutrition. We aimed to expand upon these services through the development of session materials that supported the following themes: caregiver wellbeing, indoor play, outdoor play, and health and nutrition. Aside from reviewing Save the Children’s existing materials, we also observed Playdate+ sessions to better inform the activities, norms, and practices in the new materials. We also included insights from Save the Children’s gender analysis and baseline study to ensure that the materials are inclusive and accessible to the users.
Empathy for the Users
While the team designed the materials primarily for the facilitators of the Playdate+ sessions, we also kept in mind the session participants. The project aimed to reach indigenous peoples’ communities, low-income households, and those from geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. Thus, we localized the materials and designed them to cater to gender neutrality, positive discipline, and inclusivity. We also offered flexibility for COVID implementation.
Aside from a training manual and session modules for the facilitators, we also designed flipcharts and parent cards to support the sessions. These materials were illustrated and served as step-by-step activity guides for parents and caregivers who had difficulty reading. A Home Learning Kit called Galaw, Gamit, Gawa! was also developed so that the parents and caregivers could strengthen and practice the things they learned at home.
These materials greatly support the Nurturing Care Framework for they have shown developmentally holistic activities and key messages such as good hygiene, healthy nutrition, positive discipline, gender neutrality, and playful learning.
How might we design future-proof early childhood care development materials for parents and caregivers that are gender neutral, foster positive discipline, increase inclusivity, and offer flexibility for COVID implementation?