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Vietnam’s 325 industrial parks attract billions of dollars in direct foreign investment, creating unprecedented new employment opportunities for workers eager to migrate out of poverty. However, the opportunities also result in a severe shortage of quality, affordable day care for the 1.2 million children under the age of 6 whose parents work long hours in the factories that are bringing new prosperity to the country. Access to public childcare and kindergarten are often out of reach for working migrant families because of overcrowding and many workers lack the residency status required for eligibility of their children in such programs. Consequently, desperate parents turn to low cost, home-based childcare (HBC) staffed by untrained workers, filling an urgent need, but failing to provide the attentive, quality care necessary for young children to thrive. Cases of child neglect and abuse at these unregulated childcare centers are heartbreakingly frequent.
From our national training hub and Early Learning Center in Da Nang, OneSky is scaling a caregiver training program aimed at improving the care provided by HBCs across the country. Our innovative blended learning solution consists of: (1) evidence-based, 20-week training for quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) delivered through in-person group sessions; (2) fortnightly HBC visits by trainers to coach providers; (3) a mobile-friendly digital learning portal offering a multimedia ECCE resource library, community of practice, and on-going professional development for HBC providers; and (4) a parenting program we will soon be launching for low-wage factory workers, offered through those same HBC providers, to strengthen nurturing environments at home. In 2019, 320 HBCs completed the OneSky training in Da Nang. Based on the demonstrated success of our training program to date, the central government has requested that OneSky scale training to 19 provinces with large industrial zones by 2023. We have already begun expansion of training to Quang Nam province and will soon add a cluster of training provinces in the north of Vietnam as we begin to scale in partnership with government. We welcome participation from the private sector in advancing this important solution.