Strengthening IECD for Rohingya and host community children

Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) centres serving as entry points for children, parents and communities to access and benefit from referrals to nutrition, WASH, health and child protection assistance and support.
Good Practices

Strengthening IECD for Rohingya and host community children

Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) centres serving as entry points for children, parents and communities to access and benefit from referrals to nutrition, WASH, health and child protection assistance and support.
A man sits with two children with a fake laptop

The project in brief

The project is implemented by Plan International in the Rohingya refugee camp, at Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. It began on 1 July 2022 and will end on 31 December 2024.

Plan International Bangladesh designed and piloted an integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) model for children 3-5 years old through 60 community based Integrated ECD center in the refugee camps and host communities as well. Whereas children participated in early learning and stimulating activities at the Early Childhood Development center before, a focus on the screening and referral of children’s protection, health and nutrition status was added that ensures a comprehensive focus on holistic child development needs through parents and community engagement. The centers served as reference points for children, parents and communities and they are having access and benefit from referrals to nutrition, health and child protection assistance and support. After successful piloting, now scaling up this model with UNICEF’s 5 implementing partner across the Camp. 1,440 children were enrolled and screened for health, nutrition and child protection through MUAC screening, 13 children referred to Nutrition services and 50 children referred to Health post for treatment and nutritional support after the screening.

The main goal of the good practice is to have by December 2024, 3,168 children (3-5 years old) demonstrating improved learning and development through accessing integrated Early Childhood Development services.

Main activities of the Good Practice

Integrated Early Childhood Development is ensuring a holistic child development approach by improving physical, cognitive, language, communication and socio-emotional skills. In this connection, children required health, nutrition, WASH and protection services. Through the integrated Early Childhood Development model, Plan International Bangladesh is connecting service providers of health, nutrition, WASH and child protection through the referral pathway along with the inclusion and contextually appropriate child-friendly environment that support improved child wellbeing.

Regular Activities:

  • Conduct class according to Integrated Early Childhood Development manual
  • Parenting Education Session according to parenting education guidelines
  • Frequent screening of children for health, nutrition and child protection and ensure referral
  • Regular follow up with learners and parents
  • Communication and Coordination with Service providers

Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice

  • Demonstrated a model of integrated Early Childhood Development services in the Humanitarian Response and scaling up integrated Early Childhood Development services across the Education Sector. Developed training manual, facilitators manual, parenting education manual, facilitators guideline, referral pathway guideline, screening tools, monitoring tools, formative assessment guideline and tools etc.
  • In addition, developed Teacher Professional Development (TPD) packages as a part of capacity building of facilitators.
  • Coordination with Multisectoral Service providers and established referral mechanism.

Partners involved

A young child gets their temperature taken

What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


Fathers’ engagement in child development was low in comparison with the mother.

How they were overcome

Formation of male group and parenting sessions with male parents on particular issues.

Results of the Good Practice

  • Integrated support established referral pathway mechanism with respective service providers such as health, WASH, nutrition and child protection so that the staff of Integrated Early Childhood Development and facilitators, with the support of parents, can make appropriate referrals as needed. This communication is done in two ways, e.g., the respective service providers visit the IECD center as required, and project staff conduct coordination meetings with them regularly to discuss children’s progress or needs. The parents and caregivers also be informed about the referral system, and they have taken necessary actions when required. As a result, learners' holistic development has improved.
  • Now Plan International Bangladesh is working as Technical Partner of UNICEF in the humanitarian response at Cox’s Bazar. And all UNICEF IPs are implementing IECD. PIB is providing technical support to implement Intergrated Early Childhood Development to help ensure children’s holistic development and has created awareness amongst parents and community members in both Rohingya and host community.
A young child stands on a scale, three adult women are taking notes

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

Integrated Early Childhood Development has been implemented through community engagement and parents are more capable to coordinate with different service providers for their children wellbeing that enhance refugee self -reliance.

Next steps

The project intends to scale up this Intergrated Early Childhood Development services throughout the sector partners and expected to share the exemplary cases of Intergrated Early Childhood Development in national and global platform.

Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?

  • Advocacy for including in education sector Joint Response Plan (JRP).
  • Establish sectoral level coordination like Education Sector, Child Protection sub-sector, Nutrition Sector and Health sector and create linkages with Government counterpart.
  • Increased funding for Intergrated Early Childhood Development work.

Submitted by

Sharon Chikanya, Team Leader, Centre of Excellence: Girls in Displaced settings, Plan International - [email protected] 

Abdur Rahman Khan, ECD Technical Specialist, Plan International Bangladesh - [email protected]