Consultancy: Early Childhood Development (ECD)
Bangkok | Bangkok
The Education Section, UNICEF Thailand Country Office is seeking an individual consultant to support UNICEF and its partners to strengthen the planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring and documentation of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme.
Thailand has made significant progress in increasing access to early childhood services (3 – 5 year olds) over the past 5 years. The vast majority of 4-5 year olds are currently enrolled in early childhood services, and slightly over three fourths of three year olds are currently enrolled. Access, however, is variable, with some areas, including Bangkok, showing relatively low levels of attendance at early childhood education programs. Data for other more rural areas in certain parts of the country also show lower than desired levels of attendance. This is of concern as it is widely recognized that early childhood education, if provided at appropriate levels of quality, can significantly impact school readiness and future success for children who attend.
Quality if also of concern. Various ministries are involved with the delivery of early childhood services, but there is limited standardization in terms of services offered. In addition, many of the caregivers at these institutions have limited training and experience in appropriate educational/development approaches and need support to engage parents and families in the life of the ECD centre and provide counselling and education to families on positive parenting.
In 2015, UNICEF signed work plans with both BMA and DLA, involving support to 24 ‘Demonstration ECD Centres’, many of which cater for poor communities. The objective of the partnership is its ‘contribution to increased utilisation of public ECD services by the poorest and most disadvantaged’. The ‘demonstration site’ concept is of well trained staff, demonstrating effective use of instructional and early learning materials and assessing children’s holistic development and learning, based on the national Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) while strengthening engagement with families.
In 2015, UNICEF worked with the management and 214 caregivers in these 24 centres to strengthen the holistic approach to young child (3-5) development, guided by the ELDS. A series of capacity building workshops as well as centre-based mentoring to these caregivers took place, in partnership with the NGO Books for Children.
The ECD centres received a set of standard play and learning materials to support activities for the development of children across all of the 7 domains of the ELDS. This includes a guide on setting up activities and tools to monitor children’s development. These tools and training provided to demonstration centres have been well received and UNICEF was requested to provide similar tools and storey-books to 2,356 caregivers in 600 ECD centres throughout the country, which was completed at the end of 2015. This has built the foundation for scaling up holistic ECD programmes with the demonstration centres set to play a cluster role in capacity building.
Purpose of Assignment:
The purpose of the assignment is to support UNICEF and its partners working in early childhood development (Department of Local Administration, Ministry of Interior, and Bangkok Metropolitan Authority) to strengthen the planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring and documentation of the ECD partnership programme with an emphasis on the ECD Demonstration Programme in approximately 20 early childhood demonstration centers across the country.
Under the supervision of Chief of Education, the consultant will perform the following tasks:
- Provide technical support to all partners to the ECD demonstration programme to enhance their capacities to coordinate and strengthen the ECD programme.
- Carry out regular visits to demonstration centre sites to provide technical and capacity assistance and perform planning monitoring and documentation.
- Provide regular oral and written updates to UNICEF regarding progress and identified challenges to implementation, with recommendations of potential course of action to address specified challenges.
- Develop strategies to strengthen the ECD demonstration programme and to develop new elements to the programme related to inclusion and scale up.
- Develop technical guidance for partners on all aspects of programme improvement, with a focus on strengthening the parenting component.
- Support documentation of process of implementation, identifying simultaneously examples of good practice.
- Organise and conduct regular partnership coordination consultations and capacity building sessions for partners and caregivers.
The consultant would be paid on a monthly basis upon completion of the following assignments:
- An initial report on progress and challenges in implementing the ECD demonstration programme with recommendations for strengthening the programme, based on field visits and discussions with partners.
- A Report on needs and gaps (skills, knowledge, and practice) of parents to provide care and development support for their children, based on field visits and discussions with partners.
- A Draft of Technical guidance for partners on strengthening the parenting education component of the programme.
- Draft strategies for the ECD Demonstration programme to support capacity building and mentoring of other ECD Centres in the vicinity.
- Reports on coordination workshops held with programme partners.
- Reports on capacity building workshops held with partners and caregivers.
- Options paper on including children with disabilities in ECD centers.
- A final report on the implementation status of the ECD demonstration programme.
Estimated Duration of Contract: 10 months
Official Travel: The consultant will work at UNICEF Office, Bangkok, Thailand and travel to provinces in agreement with supervisor.
Qualifications or Specialized Knowledge/Experience Required:
- University degree in Early Childhood Development, Education, Nutrition, Community Development or related field;
- At least five years’ experience in the field of child development, nutrition, education, community development or related area;
- Expertise and experience in capacity building initiatives, specifically related to ECD/Education, with both public and private stakeholders;
- Proven communication, facilitation, and writing skills; and
- Excellent knowledge of English (oral and in writing) as well as fluency in written and spoken Thai.
Interested candidates are requested to submit CV or P11, full contact information of minimum 2 references, availability, and proposed monthly professional fee in THB by 24:00 hrs. Bangkok time, 21 March 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Only short listed candidates will be notified.
- Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
- Location: Bangkok | Bangkok
- Grade: Mid/Senior
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Closing Date: 2016-03-21