Early Learning Program

The Kindergarten at Marpha Foundation’s Rosehips Center for Creative Learning provides an accessible, child-centered, and joy-filled early learning program for up to 30 children each year between the ages of 2 and 5 years old.

The Context

Marpha’s government school nursery program wasn’t meeting the needs of Marpha’s youngest students and parents. As a result, more affluent families sent their children out of the village for schooling, and challenges in local education became the exclusive problem of marginalized and low-income families. This created unofficial segregation in education along socioeconomic and caste lines. But attitudes are changing; a new generation of parents is committed to improving education from the ground up.

Our Solution

In March 2016, after an 18-month collaboration with mothers across castes, the Rosehips Center opened the first all-day early learning program in Marpha. The Kindergarten has a place-based curriculum that integrates art, storytelling, games, food preparation, gardening, and mindfulness. By nurturing their innate love of wonder and fun, each child develops school readiness skills like literacy, numeracy, group work, and inquiry in a manner that cultivates a lifelong relationship to learning that is life-affirming.

Opening the Kindergarten also created seven full-time jobs for local women. Their training focuses on developing self-awareness via reflection and feedback, and pedagogical skills that synthesize Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and Montessori approaches. A flexible fee structure also ensures accessibility for every household in our community, fosters family investment, and contributes towards a sustainable income strategy for the center.