Education for 3 to 6 year olds

YBS aims to support families living in poor, urban communities in South Jakarta through its mother-and-child activities.  45 under 5s attend pre-school at the Early Learning Centre and can benefit from primary school scholarships and their mothers have access to Health Education and Income Generating Skills training.

Education for under 5s

Early Leaning Centre

Pre-primary school education is of great importance as it prepares the child for education later on in life. Without it, the child’s readiness for learning is considerably reduced.

The Foundation for Mother and Child Health (FMCH), known locally as Yayasan Balita Sehat, provides Early Learning education in Cipete (South Jakarta), Bojonggede (West Java), Samarang (Central Java) and West Timor for 325 children who are under 6.  The Foundation works closely with low income communities, some of whom live on or nearby garbage dumps in Jakarta or live in vulnerable per-urban or rural communities in West and Central Java and West Timor.

FMCH employs experienced early year teachers, with the aim of providing a happy, safe and secure environment in which the children can learn to interact with others in a friendly and co-operative manner and learn through play. Classes are divided into age-related groups from two and half years to six years.

Opportunities are provided and support given so that every child can achieve their full potential. The curriculum the teachers use is designed to meet the children’s needs through structured play and educational activities, developing language, mathematical, physical, creative, personal and social skills as well as learning from a range of monthly topics including the family, transport and health.

Children from three to six years old attend preschool up to five times each week depending upon their age. The five and six year olds attend every morning, and the younger children two afternoons a week. Children attending the feeding programme learn and play alongside children from low income families in the surrounding community. Painting, gluing and jigsaws are all popular activities. After a snack and a glass of milk, it is playtime outside where the children have access to swings and a slide. The final activity might be a singing/musical session or storytelling session.

The younger children have a less structured teaching session: mostly learning through supervised play and song. We have many toys and they enjoy being able to play with other children knowing that their mothers are nearby. They are also given a nutritious snack and a glass of milk after their activities have finished.

It is not just children on the malnourished list who attend the preschool. Children who live nearby and who are from very modest backgrounds are also encouraged to join. The kaders (local community helpers) attached to YBS, know the local population very well and maintain strong links with community leaders. They therefore know which families have children eligible to join the YBS pre school.

Parents make a very modest monthly contribution to the cost of essential educational equipment such as paper, crayons, pencils etc. Contributions are Rp 5000 or Rp 6000 per month (approximately 55 cents or 30p) depending upon which class their child attends. In addition to offsetting some of the cost, this contribution signifies the importance of their involvement in the community and their interest in the benefits of the programme for their children.For those parents who cannot afford it, the fee would be waived, but so far, this has not been necessary.

Scholarships for Primary School Education

When children reach the age of 7, assuming their parents can afford the school fees, they start attending the local state school. It was a cause of concern to the Foundation for Mother and Child Health that some children, many of whom attended either our feeding programmes and/or our early learning centres, dropped out of primary school after one or two years due to lack of funding. Hence a school fees scholarship system was set up to assist these needy children and their siblings. Currently 73 children are attending state primary school on FMCH scholarships: 41 girls and 32 boys.

Each scholarship costs about Rp 900,000 per year (approx. $US 97 or 53 UK pounds per year). This covers the cost of one years school fees, school text books, stationary, a school bag and a pair of shoes. FMCH regularly monitors every child’s development and Sponsors receive a progress report every six months.

FMCH would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to be a potential sponsor. Every child who is sponsored has the opportunity to complete their education. This will in turn starts them on the road to a brighter future. If you wish to participate in our scholarship scheme or wish to sponsor a teacher or preschool, please Contact Us or alternatively see our Donate page.