Why these Vietnamese kids are so ready for “big school”

This fall, 42 pupils from OneSky’s Early Learning Center in Da Nang, Vietnam are headed for “big school”.

Before that big step, the Early Learning Center’s (ELC) oldest class took the opportunity to visit nearby Au Co Primary School, which many of them will join.

It was a welcome chance to make new friends and see a few old ones – children who had “graduated” from the ELC last year.

The ELC was set up specifically by OneSky to serve the children of rural migrants, who have moved to Da Nang to find work in the surrounding factory zone.

The center is a pilot program in co-operation with Vietnam’s government. It also provides training for local home-based caregivers, and, as part of its Family Skills program, runs parenting workshops.

“This is a vital time for a child’s development,” said OneSky’s Vietnam Program Director Vo Thi Hien. “We care for and teach for up to 250 children from six months to six years old. During that time they can achieve physical, social and emotional development, making them ready to enter primary school.”

For many parents, without the ELC, it’s difficult to find affordable childcare that can meet their children’s needs. Elsewhere, overworked and untrained caregivers can resort to letting children watch TV for hours on end. In contrast, the ELC offers safe and attentive care, giving children the developmental help they need to learn and thrive.

Curious, engaged, enthusiastic

“With proper development, you can see how the children progress,” adds Hien. “To learn, children need to be confident, curious, engaged and enthusiastic and that’s where our teachers have helped them develop. From very being passive children in the first days – they are now ready to take that next step.”

Vietnamese kids make the transition from preschool at the age of six. When fall comes and these ELC “graduates” go off to their new school, their former teachers are confident they will make the transition and progress well.

Read more about OneSky’s Migrant Model.