What we do

KrY's mission and vision

The Vision of the organization is that “All Cambodian children receive care and development in an enabling environment with respect for their rights and needs”. To achieve its vision, KrY’s mission is to contribute to the emergence of an environment conducive to small children’s overall and holistic development, which includes their intellectual capacities, language skills, harmony, living conditions, and physical/ health condition.

KrY works to improve early childhood care and development, nutrition, health and livelihood for the most vulnerable in Cambodia. To do so, it often operates in remote, rural parts of Cambodia where the services are less developed and the population more vulnerable. Some of the provinces where KrY operates are: Ratanakiri where it works with ethnic minorities to improve access to pre-school education and livelihood, Tboung Khmum, Preah Vihear at the very North of Cambodia, Siem Reap, Kratie and Kampong Cham.

KrY’s integrated approach considering the holistic development of children

KrY is implementing “quality programs” to improve early childhood care and development for all children in Cambodia. Quality programs take into account all the aspects of a child’s development and of the environment in which he/she lives. The holistic nature of a child’s development is reflected in all the project of KrY which always integrate all the aspects of child development: nutrition, health, stimulation, care, education etc.

KrY believes that to be truly effective programs aimed at very young children should be:

Through all those aspects, KrY’s program respect the holistic development of a child and give a chance to vulnerable children to access quality early childhood services. Indeed, pre-school education is at the core of KrY ‘s action.

Our different areas of intervention

An essential component of KrY’s action aims at improving access to quality pre-school education especially for underserved and vulnerable children from poor, remote and rural communities as well as ethnic minorities. This is to ensure that all children get the same chances to succeed in their education and to reach their full development: KrY believes that all children should have equal chances for their futures.

Indeed, programs supporting pre-school education and early childhood facilitate the transition of children to school entry and prevent school failure and drop-out especially in primary school. Those programs have a positive impact on the whole communities as they improve school attendance, the academic performances of children, and the effectiveness of the school system as a whole.

In addition to this, KrY also works with vulnerable communities on other topics such as:

The core of KrY’s action: pre-school education

Why is it important to improve access to quality ECD?

 

To give all children equal and better chances to succeed in their education and to reach their full development, it is important to keep in mind those 8 key messages:

  1. It is during he first six years of life that human development is potentially the fastest and the most decisive.
  2. The social, physical, and material environment condition a child’s behavior and his or her entire development.
  3. A baby is born with outstanding capabilities and starts to learn at birth.
  4. The child’s health and diet have a major impact on his or her development.
  5. The behavior of close adults has an indelible impact on the child’s development and personality.
  6. For young children, playing is working: it is when they play that children can grow and this anywhere, any time.
  7. It is because a child is encouraged to act, experiment, play, manipulate, discuss, question, observe the effects of his/her actions, that the brain is developing, hat confidence is growing, that the natural curiosity is transformed into a desire to learn.
  8. The child develops as a whole: everything develops at the same time (motor, intellectual and socio-emotional skills) and language is the vehicle for this development.

“While the structure of the brain is determined biologically and develops prenatally, the connections within the brain that are critical in laying the foundation for all later development result from the child’s interaction with the environment (human and material). The most rapid period of the brain development takes place in the first two years of life, laying the pathways for significant intellectual, emotional, physical/immunological, and social functions (Mustard 1998; Carnegie Corporation 1994). Experiences for children from two through five years of age provide the child with the foundations for later learning and for formal education, as well as with baseline social skills. The experiences of a child in transition into primary school (ages six through eight) are critical if what is learned prior to school is to be sustained, and if the child is to do well in school and later in life."

“Early Childhood Counts”, J. Evans, R. Myers and H. Ilfeld, 2000.

What are the remaining challenges in Cambodia?

Challenges on early childhood care and development still include:

  • A lack of pre-school teachers and of infrastructure for expanding ECE services.
  • Lack of proper infrastructure and sanitation/wash facilities.
  • Low quality of existing services, according to the MoEYS: the percentage of ECE services meeting quality standards is only around 5% in 2017/18 which means that around 75% of existing EC services in Cambodia are still below the government’s standards.
  • Drop-out rates in primary school especially grade 6 are still high and are particularly important for over-aged children.
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  • Lack of access to early childhood education especially for 3 and 4 years old:
    • Only 9% in 2013/14 and 68.5% in 2017/18 of 5 years old could access ECD services and disparities remain high between provinces and cities versus rural areas
    • enrolment of four year- old children is still low from 5% in 2014 to 39.9% in 2018
    • the percentage of three-year-old children in some form of ECE program saw slow progress, with only a 1 per cent increase in the last five years

Indeed, the MoEYS stated in 2019 that some issues require further effort, such as access to ECE services for children in rural areas, disadvantaged children and children from low socio-economic families.

To address those remaining challenges, KrY is working with relevant stakeholder to continue to improve early childhood development and care and empower families in Cambodia.

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