Integrated Intervention Targeted at Deprived Preschool Children

This intervention is developing, piloting and evaluating a reformed curriculum for home visiting services and group meetings run by FAMI, the national parenting program in Colombia targeting disadvantaged families and children under 2 in rural areas.
2014Colombia

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

Boyacá, Cundinamarca, SantanderPeri-Urban, Rural

The Integrated Intervention Targeted at Deprived Pre-School Children in Rural Colombia is an 18-month intervention to improve the quality of parenting support services for vulnerable families living in rural areas of Colombia. FAMI (Family, Women, and Infancy) is a public home visiting program for vulnerable women and children under age 2 through individual monthly visits and weekly group meetings. While part of the Colombian government’s national early childhood strategy “De Cero a Siempre” aims to improve the quality of FAMI services, this proves particularly challenging in rural regions of the country.

This intervention is designing, testing and evaluating a reformed curriculum to improve early childhood development (including cognitive, verbal and motor skills), parent-child interactions, and understanding and awareness of nutrition among pregnant women, mothers and children under 2 reached by FAMI in rural and peri-urban areas of Colombia. The new curriculum includes 24 home visiting sessions and 19 group meeting sessions. FAMI program facilitators additionally receive training and ongoing coaching and supervision (every 5 weeks) from trained tutors. Nutritional supplements and pedagogical materials (such as books, puzzles, and locally-made toys) are also provided through the program. The program intends to reach 2,000 parents and pregnant women and some 2,000 children for the duration of the intervention before scaling further.

This intervention has faced a number of challenges, including: 1) serving rural disperse areas is costly due to long and difficult distances; (2) curriculum and tutoring need to consider significant heterogeneity of the program across different regions; (3) working with an already existing program can be challenging due to a natural reluctancy to change and ingrained practices; (4) pedagogical materials can easily be damaged or lost, the program needs to consider alternatives or increased costs to replenish frequently; (5) skilled human capital for training and supervision of program facilitators is not easy to find in some of the rural regions of the country; (6) staff turnover and dropout pose a challenge; (7) partnering with the government and other organizations poses risks in terms of common interests and objectives.

The intervention makes use of evidence-based practices to reform the curriculum of an existing public home visiting service to improve the quality of parenting support for vulnerable families and children.A few challenges include added costs reaching rural areas, changing existing behaviors and practices, staff turnover and dropout, and a lack of skilled human capital for training and supervision in some parts of the country.

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