Rocket Learning

Rocket Learning

India’s Anganwadi system, the world’s largest publicly funded childcare initiative, plays a pivotal role in early childhood education. Boasting over 80 million enrolled children and employing 13.9 million women as Anganwadi (daycare) workers, this system is a cornerstone in Rocket Learning’s mission to extend educational benefits to the remotest corners of the country. Collaborating strategically with the Anganwadi system ensures the swift provision of early childhood care and education to those in urgent need.

Testing Empowerment through Institutionalized Childcare:

To investigate the impact of the Anganwadi system on mothers of children in institutionalized childcare, Rocket Learning conducted an informal Dipstick Survey across four states. The survey, involving 213 mothers, delved into aspects such as intra-household decision-making, perceived value at home, free time, community engagement, and the ability to participate in paid work. This exploration aligns with Rocket Learning’s commitment to reaching the underserved bottom 30% of the population.

Championioning for Inclusivity:

Rocket Learning’s ongoing efforts to involve mothers in their children’s education and promote Anganwadi enrollment emerge as pivotal elements in this transformative journey. The Survey serves as tangible evidence of the success of this, with results showcasing a significant positive shift in the experiences of participating mothers.

Watch: A Mother’s Testimonial of How Rocket Learning’s Home Learning Program Encouraged Her to Upskill While Also Helping Her Child Exceed in School

Impact Assessment and Hypotheses:

The survey was anchored by three hypotheses derived from Rocket Learning’s Theory of Change outcomes, focusing on parental aspirations, active participation in engagement activities, and the empowerment derived from information and support.

Cognitive Load Reduction:

  • Institutionalized childcare is expected to alleviate the cognitive load on mothers by providing a structured environment for their children.

Enhanced Empowerment:

  • Mothers with children in institutionalized childcare are anticipated to experience positive changes in how they are heard and valued at home, contributing to an enhanced sense of empowerment as they engage in intra-household decision-making.

Agency over time: 

  • The utilization of institutionalized childcare is expected to result in an increase in free time for mothers, fostering opportunities for personal development, community engagement, and the ability to participate in paid work.

Key Survey Questions:

Telephonic surveys centered around key questions:

Confidence in Decision-Making:

  • “Do you feel more confident in making decisions about your life and your child’s education since joining Anganwadi?”

Perceived Value at Home:

  • “Since your child started Anganwadi, have you experienced a change in how you are heard and valued at home?”

Increased Free Time:

  • “Since your child started Anganwadi, has your free time increased?”

Community Engagement:

  • “Has Anganwadi helped you make new friends or feel more part of the community?”

Utilization of Gained Time:

  • Mothers were probed on diverse activities undertaken during the time gained from sending their children to Anganwadi Centres.

Survey Results:

Qualitative responses were compiled and grouped based on the key questions. For example, the question on confidence in decision-making yielded various responses, including increased confidence in shaping the future of children’s education, improved communication skills, comfort with Anganwadi services, and enhanced discipline among children.

  • Confidence in Decision-Making:
    • Out of 206 respondents, 194 mothers reported feeling more confident, with 12 noting no noticeable change. In-depth responses highlighted various positive changes, including increased confidence in shaping children’s education and enhanced communication skills.
  • Perceived Value at Home:
    • Of the 207 respondents, 199 mothers experienced positive changes, with 7 perceiving no change. In-depth responses indicated improvements in children’s listening skills, the importance given to mothers’ voices, and increased freedom in decision-making.
  • Increased Free Time:
    • Among the 206 surveyed, 140 mothers reported a significant increase in free time, while 66 noted no significant change. In-depth responses outlined activities such as completing household chores, supporting family occupations, part-time jobs, rest, education, and self-development.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Out of 202 respondents, 158 mothers acknowledged that Anganwadis helped them make new friends or feel more part of the community. For 44 mothers, there was no discernible impact. In-depth responses highlighted discussions about kids, limitations on time to visit Anganwadi, building friendships, and learning new things in Anganwadi meetings.

Conclusions: Shaping Inclusive Futures

The Dipstick Survey findings underscore the broader impact of institutionalized child care on women’s lives, extending beyond educational benefits for children. Rocket Learning’s strategic approach and ongoing systems change initiatives stand poised to significantly contribute to shaping inclusive futures, ensuring empowerment and educational opportunities reach every corner of India, leaving no segment of the population behind.

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