Background This study describes the implementation and evaluation of a safety and peace promotion intervention for children attending Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in a low-income community in South Africa. The intervention comprised of teacher training to administer lessons on poisoning, burn, traffic safety and peacemaking skills to the children.
Methods Ten teachers working in four ECD centres in informal settlement received training to deliver lessons to 80 children aged 4–6 years, over the course of a ten week period. Assessments were conducted to study the implementation process of the lessons. Child assessments and teacher and parent reports of child behaviour assessments were collected prior to the intervention and after the 10 week period.
Results Although teachers were generally receptive to the intervention and thought that the content was appropriate, several concerns were raised which have implications for intervention delivery and utility. These concerns centred on language of instruction, the need to involve parents, teacher capacity, structure of lesson plans, intervention flexibility, and disclosures of child abuse.
Conclusions These findings suggest that interventions in ECD centres in low-income settings may have potential for improving child safety and social and emotional learning. However, teachers require appropriate training and support for interventions to be sustainable.
- early child development
- low-income community
- peace promotion