Upskilling Home-Based Childcare Providers in Vietnam's Factory Zones

Blended learning solution to upskill the home-based childcare workforce serving the children of low wage factory workers in Vietnam

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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Tim Huang, Director of Institutional Partnerships

Initiative's representative date of birth

05/11/92

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • Vietnam

Where are you making a difference?

Vietnam

Website or social media url(s)

https://onesky.org/hbcproviders/

When was your organisation founded?

1998

Focus areas

  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
  • Creating digital tools

Project Stage

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways) 

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $500k - $1m

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

Picture Nhi, a two-year-old girl living in an urban factory zone of Vietnam. She has just migrated there with her single mother, who makes a little over $5 a day toiling long hours as a factory worker. Despite her mother’s love, she has only known instability and has had few opportunities to play and learn. At Nhi's home-based childcare program, she often sits in front of the TV with over two dozen other children. Thuy, her home-based caregiver, is doing her best, but struggles with the skills to run her unlicensed program on par with other private and public kindergartens. Thuy is barely making ends meet for her business and family. These stories are all too common in Vietnam's factory zones, where an estimated 1.2 million children live.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

An informal industry of home-based childcare (HBC) has emerged in the factory zones of Vietnam to provide an affordable option for low-wage factory workers. These often unlicensed HBC providers are local women entrepreneurs, many mothers themselves, with little or no training and support. As many as 49 children may be looked after by 1 or 2 caregivers for 12+ hours a day. Few have the skills they need for quality care and economic advancement.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

According to a 2016 UNICEF Report on childcare in Vietnam, working parents report low quality and the lack of training as their major concerns with enrolling their children in HBCs. We are partnering with the Vietnamese government to deliver an innovative blended learning solution consisting of: (1) an evidence-based, 20-week HBC provider training for quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) delivered every two weeks through in-person group sessions; (2) fortnightly HBC visits by trainers to coach providers; and (3) a mobile-friendly digital learning portal offering a multimedia ECCE resource library, community of practice, and on-going professional development for HBC providers. OneSky and the provincial government provide co-signed certification upon completion of the training. Key curriculum topics include: brain development, responsive care, attachment, play, care routines, safe learning environments, non-verbal communication, language development, physical development, basic digital literacy to utilize our online learning portal, and parent and family communication. These skills are critical to quality care as well as the long-term success of their HBC enterprises.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

Our digital solution, an online learning portal suited for mobile called “1GiaDinhLon” (1GDL) meaning 1BigFamily, offers an innovative platform for caregivers to access valuable skills development content through caregiver-child interaction videos, play activities, photos, articles and other resources like low-resource toy making guides. Through a forum on 1GDL, caregivers also exchange ideas with a professional community and work through daily challenges with their peers, along with on-demand support from our ECCE specialists. 1GDL is utilized for blended learning during our in-person training as well as for on-going professional development and community long after the training, enabling quality HBC workforce skills development at scale.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

When local HBC providers gain and apply professional ECCE skills as frontline caregivers, we accelerate breakthrough child outcomes along with these women's income generation potential and socio-economic mobility for their families. We believe the skills of providing quality, responsive care are critical to survive in a volatile job market where the quality of childcare is the primary metric by which working parents in factory zones decide to enroll their children in HBCs. We are also supporting HBC's agency and digital literacy skills for on-going skills development. As we aim to tie training certification to licensing with government partners over time, we believe we will not only future proof the HBC workforce but also ensure an entire generation of factory workers' children develop the cognitive foundation in their formative early years to thrive in school and a future job market.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

Among the HBC providers we train, we are focused on fostering increased knowledge of early childhood development, increased responsive care skills, increased competency to provide child-centered learning activities in HBCs, improved quality in learning environment, and increased basic digital literacy skills to continue on-going professional learning. We are measuring progress through HBC surveys with data collection via KoBoToolbox and data analysis via Tableau's impact dashboards. We are measuring online engagement and 1GDL utilization through Google Analytics to improve the platform.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

OneSky is unique in its approach as it is the only organization working with the Vietnamese government specifically on a scalable HBC training model in industrial zones. Our project differs from other approaches in that we leverage a blended learning approach that prioritizes continuous learning to address skill gaps and provide HBC professional advancement pathways. We are also rigorous about our social impact. An on-going impact evaluation on our HBC training approach in Vietnam is being conducted by Professor Aisha Yousafzai at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

In 2017, we launched a national demonstration Early Learning Center and training hub in Da Nang, a budding industrial city in central Vietnam. We have since trained 320 HBC providers in the industrial zones of Da Nang in our approach to improve the quality of care for more than 9,564 children, at a cost-per-child of $15. We have just expanded our HBC training to a new province, Quang Nam, where we are now training 160 HBC providers to reach an additional 4,640 children of factory workers. For more on our HBC training: onesky.org/hbcproviders/ Meanwhile, a factory worker Doan reflects on the impact of OneSky's programs on his young son Nhat: “Seven months ago, I dared not dream that I would ever see him playing and dancing with his friends so confidently. I have never felt so proud of my son." For more on Doan and Nhat's story: onesky.org/i-have-never-felt-so-proud-of-my-son/

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

We have already been invited by Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training to scale up our solution to 19 more provinces. In the short and medium term, we are scaling with philanthropic support from funders like Grand Challenges Canada. Our endgame is government adoption and funding. We seek to advance the socio-economic success of local women who are HBC providers and transform children's developmental outcomes for future employability through a skilled, certified, and digitally empowered HBC workforce delivering quality ECCE at scale in factory zones. We believe this solution, once proven at scale in Vietnam, can be implemented in other countries across South East Asia where home-based or informal childcare are the norm.

10. Team

We have a local full-time team of ECCE specialists and Vietnamese country leadership with expertise in operations, partnerships, strategy, and M&E, supported by our women-led global executive team. We continue to grow our local capacity through training of trainers. Our Founder and CEO Jenny Bowen received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for OneSky’s work to transform China’s child welfare system, which has adopted our approach as its national standard of care over the last 21 years.

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