Significant neurodevelopmental and socioemotional change occurs during early childhood, making it a period of great vulnerability, as well as great potential. It is an ideal time to cultivate social emotional competencies (SEC) and is particularly impactful for children living in poverty and with delays in SEC development. These types of support in early childhood helps close the inequality gap by equipping children with the skills they need to navigate challenging situations and succeed in life
In Mexico, 1 in 2 children lives in poverty and 60% of students are considered behind in school by the time they're in sixth grade. Adverse early childhood events can permanently affect a person's ability to regulate stress, learn new skills, and healthily adapt to future adversity, resulting in significant barriers to learning. The gap in educational outcomes across socio-economic status widens significantly between the ages of 5-18 years old, fueling cycles of inequality and violence.
Educating for Wellbeing (EW) seeks to break these cycles by fostering an empowering learning environment within preschools that acts as a protective barrier to help close this gap early. Healthy childhood development hinges on educators' own well-being. The program includes a rigorous training-based approach to building SEC among educators, an explicit curriculum to build students' SEC, and a school-wide approach to fostering student development and resiliency.
After participating in pilot studies, teachers showed improvements in SECs and reduction in stress and burnout, and their students demonstrated improved socioemotional outcomes. Studies conducted by the World Bank and the Center for Healthy Minds are publishing results estimating the impact of EW in the coming months. To date, EW has trained 80,000 early childhood educators, and seeks to reach over 1 million students across the country.