In the Philippines and Cambodia, Prudence Foundation is funding an innovative education programme designed to help young people develop essential literacy skills and prepare to start school.
Too many children don't have the chance to build the skills they need in their early years to learn effectively when they start school. Our First Read programme gives parents of pre-school children the knowledge, skills and materials they need to support their children's literacy and numeracy development.
First Read was launched in 2013. Together, we have directly reached more than 102,000 children and 119,000 adults through activities that include developing early years reading material, providing parenting education and supporting community-based playgroup sessions.
In both Cambodia and the Philippines, First Read works in partnership with a wide range of actors, including community development workers, the publishing industry and local government agencies, a number of which are integrating First Read approaches into their own services.
Our results so far show that parents who have participated in First Read in the Philippines are almost twice as likely to send their children to pre-school activities. Their children also have better emergent literacy and social development skills.
In Cambodia, we have increased access to early childhood and development services in our target communities and seen improvements in the number of children meeting expected development standards.
Prudence Foundation has committed to supporting First Read for a further three years, with the aim of benefiting over 68,000 children and 70,000 adults. In this next phase, we will focus on building greater demand for early years reading materials. We will also collect further evidence of First Read's impact which can be used to advocate for the scheme to be replicated and scaled up.