Baseline Survey of Caregivers KAP on Early Childhood Development in Bangladesh
Early childhood development (ECD) is the cornerstone of human development. It is a continuous and individualized process of change in which a child learns to handle ever more complex levels of moving, thinking, speaking, feeling and relating to others. Development includes both physical growth and mental development. Physical growth refers primarily to the integrated growth of the human organs, while mental development refers to cognitive, social and emotional development. Children's development does not depend solely on their levels of access to food and health care. It is also critically influenced by the quality of care they receive and interventions made on their behalf, which promote their cognitive, emotional and social advances. Bangladesh faces serious challenges in ensuring the development of its young children. UNICEF is working with the Government of Bangladesh to implement a comprehensive early childhood development project during the period 2001-2005. The overall objective of the project is to develop activities designed to empower caregivers of children aged 0 to 5 years to promote children's integrated and holistic development. Childcare practices are divergent and multitudinous, varying by geographical area (rural, urban and CHT) and socio-economic status (non-poor/poor, education/no education, and aware/not aware of measles vaccines). In preparation for designing interventions under the new ECD project, it was considered essential to investigate the processes and factors that determine the quality of child care within the sociocultural context of Bangladesh. Keeping this in view the study was carried out to achieve following objectives:
a) assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of caregivers regarding the care of young children (from conception to 5 years) focusing on their cognitive, emotional and social development;
b) identify the key persons who are acceptable and credible to parents/caregivers as a source of information on child development; and
c) examine media reach on matters relating to early childhood development.