In 2013, Young Focus started providing education to little children from ages 4 – 6 through the program Child Care PLUS (CC+). It aims to provide a high quality early childhood care program helping the child’s social/ emotional, physical and cognitive development. The program started with thirty children in a center within the squatter community of Sitio Damayan (aka Smokey Mountain 2).
In 2014, the number of children we were helping increased to forty. Unfortunately, the center burnt down in a bad fire and then, although it was rebuilt, a few months later, the whole community was demolished by the local government. Young Focus faced a challenge on where to continue the program. For months, CC+ was temporarily running in the Student Center. In November 2014, through a partnership with the local government, an old wet market area was provided to Young Focus as a space for the new CC+ Center. The construction of the new center opened doors for more than 70 children to be part of the program.
In 2015, even greater things happened in the program as the number of children increased to one hundred and eighteen. It was also this year when CC+ looked further into its curriculum and its effectiveness among the children. The vision of Child Care prompted the need to move from traditional teaching into a more progressive and fun way of learning. With the help of The Bridge School, CC+ was able to implement this approach in September 2015.
The Bridge School is a private, co-educational childhood learning center modeled on standards of developmentally appropriate educational practises as set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), USA. According to the Social Care Program Manager Ann Ragudo it has been a great partnership since the teachers of The Bridge are all approachable and are willing to share their the expertise to further develop and improve CC +. We have seen the progress among our children and the satisfaction of our teachers in observing their students learn while enjoying themselves despite their challenging background.