According to research, 80% of the brain development is formed during the first three years of a child’s life. In Hong Kong, one in five children live in poverty and one in ten live with a single parent despite our city’s apparent prosperity. If these vulnerable children enter mainstream schools without quality early childhood care & education (“ECCE”), there will be almost no chance for them to realize their full potential.
A local study shows that ECCE service demand exceeds provision for the low income families in Hong Kong by a gnawing margin, and the gaps could be identified from two major angles: availability and accessibility of existing services, as well as the quality of the service. Now, in an official capacity as Hong Kong’s welfare chief obliged to safeguard and promote the rights, benefits and well-being of the underprivileged, it was pledged to add 300 childcare places in the next few years to help tackle hugely insufficient services in the sector.
OneSky for all children (OneSky), an international non-profit organization with a mission to teach communities and caregivers to provide nurturing responsive care and quality early education that can unlock that vast hidden potential in our world’s vulnerable young children, will launch the P. C. Lee OneSky Global Centre for Early Childhood Development (“the Centre”) in Sham Shui Po in 2020. In addition to providing services to vulnerable children and their families, the Centre will also serve as a training hub for professionals and paraprofessionals using cutting-edge theory on early brain development and teaching methods that put the child at the centre of his or her own learning.
Founded by Ms. Jenny Bowen in 1998 after she adopted her daughter in Mainland China and witnessed the plight faced by many Chinese orphans, OneSky has impacted the lives of over 185,000 marginalized children and reached 108 institutions in all 31 provinces in Mainland China. In Vietnam, OneSky has also trained 320 home daycare providers in Da Nang and will expand training to 19 provinces, ultimately benefitting over 400,000 children living in industrial zones across the country in the coming years.
The Foundation has been looking for worthy initiatives to maximize educare benefits for local young children, especially those coming from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Therefore, the Foundation is delighted to partner with OneSky to share their educare best practices through a differentiated Training of Trainers program (the “TOT Program”), also a key commitment of the Centre.
The training models of the TOT Program are developed based on the successful training methodology endorsed by China’s Ministry of Civil Affair. It is also rooted in evidence-based methodology supporting the core concepts of healthy brain development, led by researchers at the Harvard Centre on the Developing Child.
With the focus on a child’s healthy brain, physical, social, emotional and linguistic developments, the TOT Program is considered an instrumental effort that not only aligns with the government’s visions in local ECCE development, but also effectively capitalizes on the influential work and existing networks of OneSky to tackle critical community needs – to inspire and empower local ECCE caregivers and professional practitioners through relational, interactive and adaptable ECCE trainings, supporting vulnerable children’s development to their full potential.