In 1997, Bala Mandir Research Foundation (BMRF) entered into an international partnership with the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, Canada, to extend the latter’s Learning Through Play (LTP) programme and materials into India. The Learning Through Play Calendars (LTPC) – Birth to 3 Years, and 3 to 6 Years, are an excellent parent education resource on holistic child development. Since the introduction of the programme in India, BMRF has forged various partnerships with Government bodies, and NGOs, to take the parenting programme forward to a diverse range of communities and settings.
BMRF has strived to work within the framework of the Early Childhood Care and Education Policy by aiding in capacity building of ICDS staff. Much of the work also involves advocacy and engagement with various government bodies on child-friendly policies and implementation.
Our engagement with NGOs have been in three ways:
1. LTP India Programme – Since 2008-2009, BMRF has been steering the LTP India programme, to empower organisations to train other NGOs in the field, and take the programme forward in their State. The LTP partnership model is currently active in 4 States: Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. The LTPC and support materials have been translated into various regional languages to promote outreach and flexibility. Plans are underway to now extend the partnership model into 4 other States- Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal.
2. Community Outreach – Beyond training, BMRF has partnered with various organisations to conduct community intervention projects, in different settings, including difficult parenting environments, such as tsunami-affected areas, tribal communities, homeless families, and migrant workers.
3. Inclusiveness – A collaborative research project between BMRF and Vidya Sagar, Chennai, in 2002, led to the development of an adapted calendar format, to reflect the specific attitudes and approaches when working with children with special needs and their families.