Innovative Policy 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

700 early childhood centres across a whole country

In 2015, the National Institute for Comprehensive Early Childhood Care (INAIPI) launched the Integrated Early Childhood Care Model to introduce comprehensive early childhood care centres for children with and without disabilities aged 45 days to 5 years. The centres provide education, health, and nutrition services as well as assistance to families. An essential part of the model is the detection of disabilities and the assurance that children with disabilities receive support and equal opportunities. In 2019, there are almost 700 centres throughout the Dominican Republic, with some 11,000 employees.

“Once my grandson got into the programme, he began to receive therapies for free and got health insurance.”

Dania Payanograndmother of a beneficiary
About the policy at a glance
Laws and regulations involved:Integrated Early Childhood Care Model
Responsible Body:National Institute for Comprehensive Early Childhood Care (INAIPI)
Country
of Implementation
Dominican Republic
Start Year2015

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Since 2015, more than 195,000 children have attended the centres and 1,144 have received support.
  • In 2019, there are approximately 7,000 trained educators and therapists working in the centres.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Many young children with disabilities in the Dominican Republic do not access early diagnosis and support due to a lack of awareness, lack of follow-up by parents and medical staff, a lack of specialists, and few facilities to provide them with care.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The programme model foresees six components for successful and effective early childhood intervention. During the initial education component, assistants and education coordinators observe the first signs of deviation from regular development and make the appropriate referral for adequate support. This includes therapeutic support and inclusion in classrooms that have special equipment to play and learn. The training and education of parents supports violence prevention and facilitates greater awareness and acceptance by families. Finally, health and nutrition requirements are adjusted to the needs of the young children.

The children attend the early childhood care centres eight hours per day, Monday–Friday, for 11 months of the year. For children entering primary school there is a transition protocol whereby they are supervised for a year to ensure their support and inclusion. Since 2015, more than 195,000 children have enrolled, and 1,144 children with disabilities have received support.

A young boy laughs, while holding a ball and playing outside on the playground of INAIPI centres.

Children attend the early childhood care centres eight hours per day, Monday to Friday

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

INAIPI has an annual budget assigned by law as well as annual operating and purchasing plans. In 2019, the budget is $97 million.

To enforce the policy, there are regular visits and checks from INAIPI staff to the centres and to parents. In addition, there are permanent awareness training campaigns for most of the 11,000 personnel to keep them up to date with the most recent developments in early childhood care.

INAIPI plans to improve the programme by maintaining and expanding agreements with other organizations to provide specialized care, and to further train staff to identify and support children with disabilities and their families.

FACTSHEET

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING