Basic Information
Name of Innovation:
Icarella Caregivers Institute
For the past ten years, Icarella Childcare Services ltd has placed underprivileged women ages 18 to 55 in homes and crèches as nannies in Nigeria. In this period we have come to realize women quickly exit the industry because they struggle to pivot their work experience into a profitable and sustainable career for their future. Our goal is to support such women by providing education access to increase their knowledge and skill in the Early Childhood Education and Care profession in order to grow their careers while supporting quality early childhood development in their communities.
Description of Innovation:
Through the Icarella Caregivers Institute, learning is majorly asynchronous and offered online, in a flexible format that allows participants to access the learning at a time that is convenient to them, with peer support. As the idiom says “Tell me and I will forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn”. Neurosciences have recently shown that active learning is indeed more beneficial because it involves a greater number of neural connections, stimulating a variety of areas of the brain and promoting memory. Interacting with peers has also been shown to be very efficient to stimulate learning. This we have seen in our current training model.

We had to think outside the box to design these impactful online courses. We combined SMS texting, a social media chatbot, and our Learning Management System: The Caregivers Learning Scheduler, to enable the caregivers to continue their learning. As time progressed we were able to facilitate interactive learning daily through discussion groups and peer mentoring via social media. As the lockdown has eased we hope to integrate periodic physical practical group learning sessions.

Our self-paced peer mentoring approach to learning enables child caregivers to implement learned practical childcare and homeschooling solutions quickly with children in their care. Furthermore, caregivers now realize that they can work and study and no longer have to push education to a later time in their lives.
Sustainability :
As we combine our Learning Management System with the use of low-cost tools for mass interaction such as SMS, mobile IVR systems and Social media we will be able to accommodate a large number of students conveniently, creating a “simple”, user-friendly solution, by making the most of existing low bandwidth technological tools.

Our program is designed to scale while guaranteeing impact but does not allow for a lot of interactions between students and trainers as our goal is not to teach but to enable individuals or communities to self-coach themselves.
Impact Story:
So far the program has successfully engaged 90 working child caregivers in the program.
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