The Context

It is now universally acknowledged that the early childhood age-span is the most crucial in human development. There is no other time in human life when so much is learned in so brief a period. In India, this awareness is reflected in the large scale government and private efforts to run balwadis, anganwadis (pre-school centres) and pre-primary schools. The quality, however, of the majority of these centres is poor. Inadequately trained teachers, lack of an appropriate curriculum and a dearth of learning materials make for unstimulating preschool programmes for young children in the 3-5 years age-group.

Issues / Needs We Address

The CLR addresses the following needs in Early Childhood Education (ECE):

  • ongoing professional development of anganwadi workers, balwadi teachers and teacher trainers
  • curriculum development for varied local contexts
  • introduction of activity-based, experiential learning in preschool centres
  • provision of low cost teaching-learning materials and play materials
  • increasing community awareness and participation in ECE


CLR ECE Curriculum

The CLR ECE curriculum framework draws upon the research base of what 3-5 year old children are capable of learning and how they learn best. Along with the evidence that the environment in the early years can significantly alter developmental outcomes, there is also the understanding that cognitive, social and emotional development must be addressed simultaneously for ECE programmes to have a powerful positive impact on children's development and learning. Neuroscience perspectives on early cognitive development also confirm this understanding.

Inservice Training of Anganwadi Workers and Balwadi Teachers

CLR training incorporates:

  • Understanding early child development
  • Understanding the ECE curriculum in the light of children's developmental needs, their right to holistic development, and a particular socio-cultural context
  • Methods and materials for activity-based learning
  • Management aspects of an activity-based classroom
  • Discussion on teachers' attitudes and professional motivation
  • Strategies for parent and community involvement
  • Self-evaluation processes

Features of our ECE training :

  • Integrates child development principles and learning theory with ECE practice
  • Emphasises active, participatory training methods
  • Allows for local adaptation
  • Communicates with grassroots teachers and workers having modest educational backgrounds.
  • Provides field-based opportunities for observing and reflecting on ‘best practices’ at our rural Observation Centres within the government Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.

Our inservice teacher training programmes are conducted in Marathi and Hindi.

Training Package and Training of Trainers

The CLR audio-visual training package is entitled 'Active Learning in Early Childhood Programmes.' It contains print modules and training videos, and is available in various Indian languages. We train teacher-trainers and resource persons to use the package to conduct inservice teacher training programmes within their own local projects and institutions.

Teaching-Learning Materials

Teacher-Prepared Materials

As part of CLR’s inservice training we guide teachers to create teaching-learning materials relevant to their context.

Other CLR Materials

These include playful activities that support our ECE curriculum.

For more details, including ordering information, click on the following.

Evaluation Tools

To evaluate the quality of ECE programmes, we have developed tools to assess the following:

  • overall programme quality and the transaction of ECE within it
  • learning outcomes of children attending a 2-year programme

Current Projects and Activities

  • Observation-Cum-Lab Centres to Demonstrate Effective Early Childhood Education (ECE) (Click here for more details)
  • Fulfilling the Young Child’s Right to Development by Strengthening the Pre-School (ECE) Component in ICDS Anganwadis of Dharni Block, Amravati District. (Click here for more details)
  • Building Capacities within NGOs-Corporates-Government for Early Childhood Education – Yadgir, North Karnataka and Forbes Marshall, Pune. (Click here for more details)
  • Development of Training and Learning Materials in Early Childhood Education (Click here for more details)


We offer consultancy services in project design and implementation for organisations who are initiating Early Childhood Education programmes, or seeking to upgrade existing 'balwadis,' 'anganwadis' and pre-primary centres.

Agencies Requesting CLR Technical Support for ECE : Some Examples

Government Agencies

  • Integrated Child Development Services, (ICDS), Govt. of Maharashtra
  • Department of Women and Child Development, Govt. of Karnataka
  • Education Department, Pune Municipal Corporation
  • District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) - Uttar Pradesh

Indian NGOs

  • Deepalaya, New Delhi
  • BODH, Jaipur
  • Rehwa, Madhya Pradesh
  • Aga Khan Education Services, Gujarat
  • Gram Vikas, Orissa
  • PREM, Orissa
  • Khedi Vikas, Latur District, Maharashtra
  • Jan Jagran Yuvak Mandal, Aurangabad District, Maharashtra
  • Mobile Crèches, Pune
  • Azim Premji Foundation

International NGOs

  • Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan
  • PLAN International, Bangladesh
  • PLAN International, Indonesia
  • PLAN International, Nepal
  • Save The Children, Bangladesh

Focus areas of the CLR ECE Curriculum for 3-5 Year Olds

  • Physical Development / Health / Hygiene
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Language Development
  • Emergent Literacy
  • Beginning Mathematics
  • Creative Expression