KrY was established in 2002 as a local Cambodian NGO with no religious and political affiliation. The NGO was created by a group of people passionate about early childhood and wanting to improve access to quality early childhood services in Cambodia.
For ten years, KrY worked with the French NGO Planete Enfants et Developpement to support the overall development of children and prepare them for success in school. After fifteen years of work in rural and remote areas of Cambodia, 97 pre-schools were opened and the model of community pre-school developed by PE&D and KrY was adopted and scaled up by UNICEF which opened more than a thousand community pre-schools all over Cambodia.
How did our action evolve?
For almost 20 years, KrY improved access to quality early childhood education in Cambodia by working with the communities to create Community Pre-schools directly managed by the villages themselves. Nevertheless, as the Cambodian government recently started to encourage primary schools to open pre-schools within their compounds, KrY decided to support this strategy by supporting state pre-schools in rural and vulnerable communities. ibus leo.
KrY’s model of Community Pre-school
Since its creation in 2002, KrY focused a lot on building quality CPS in Cambodia as for a long time they were the only alternative to give access to pre-school education to underserved children. KrY Community Pre-school program run for almost 20 years and provided pre-school education to thousands of children in Cambodia.
–> More information on the community pre-school model
However recently, the strategy of the government regarding early childhood has changed and is encouraging primary schools to open pre-school classes within their compound. As a consequence, a lot of primary schools started to open pre-school classes within their compounds but with no proper infrastructure or teaching equipment, no licensed or trained teachers and no pedagogical games and materials.
KrY wants to align its actions with the government’s strategy to continue to reach and support the most vulnerable. Therefore, KrY decided to shift its action and focus on supporting and building state pre-schools within the compounds of primary schools as this is a more sustainable solution and it has been observed that attendance rates are higher when pre-schools are located within he compound of a primary school.
Supporting and building state pre-schools: KrY’s new approach
Before the recent changes in the national strategy, state pre-schools could only be found in cities and populated areas and had a management structure separated from the primary school. The demand for pre-school education was very important in Cambodia as rural communities were not the priority for opening SPS. Rural communities were and still are quite vulnerable regarding access to pre-school education. Before, KrY worked with those vulnerable communities and opened Community Pre-Schools for their children to be able to access pre-school.
Now that the national strategy has changed primary schools are opening pre-school classes all over the country to be in line with the national strategy but they often do not have adapted equipment, not enough teachers or no qualified teachers, no knowledge in pre-school pedagogy, and no knowledge in management of pre-schools. But they open pre-school classes even though they do not have equipment, available space, or teachers.
KRY thus decided to provide support to those SPS that opened within the compound of primary schools. Moreover, KrY choose to support communities in very remote and rural areas to provide pre-school and early childhood services because this is where the most underserved communities are. And they are often not receiving a lot of support from the government and live far from populated area so a lot of NGOs do not want to operate there.