The Stepping Stones Project aims to enhance Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs for children from 0 to 6 years old. The target population is indigenous tribal communities living in forest reserves in India.
Because children under 3 years old usually do not attend Anganwadi centers (AWCs), which are public ECD centers, parenting programs are delivered to increase caregiver capacity for children's development. Using a tailored curriculum package, group sessions are held with parents and caregivers. To reach marginalized families unable to attend group meetings, home visits are conducted. During these group meetings and home visits, data are collected, managed, and analyzed using a tablet-PC smart register application.
For children 3 to 6 years old, the Stepping Stones Project is delivered in Anganwadi centers. By partnering with private preschools that have high quality resource centers, an enhanced curriculum is developed for the Anganwadi centers. The smart register application is also used in the Anganwadi centers to track child development progress throughout the curriculum. This useof technology reduces administrative and reporting burdens for Anganwadi workers, who are local community workers under the government's Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
By recognizing the contradictory messages and standards of beauty by the media and our peers, we as young women can reject false standards of beauty. We can empower ourselves to choose who we want to be. We can support one another in our successes and failures. And we can be who we want to be, regardless of the expectations of others.