Access to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) has become a global focus. In the Global South in particular, it is recognized that high quality ECE has the potential to reduce social inequalities because it substantially enhances the emotional, social and cognitive development of children at a young age. Therefore, the promotion of high-quality ECE was included in the Sustainable Development Goals: «By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education» (SDG 4.2).
The Arthur Waser Foundation is committed to making a contribution to improving the provision of ECE. It supports and connects organizations with a long-term willingness to provide high-quality ECE services. These services should be child-centered, convey locally-rooted knowledge, encourage children to think freely and learn independently, and should benefit all sections of the population.
For the time being, the Arthur Waser Foundation’s activities in the field of pre-school education is confined to Tanzania, where the Montessori pedagogy is widespread and well established. A total of more than 5000 Montessori teachers have been trained at local training centers since the 1970s and the pedagogy has been adapted to local circumstances. For these reasons, the Arthur Waser Foundation supports the national association of Montessori teachers (Montessori Community of Tanzania) as well as organizations operating Montessori training centers, kindergartens and primary schools in Tanzania.