Tikule Limodzi (‘Let’s Grow Together’) was a three-year (2015 to 2018) multi-agency study that sought to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in community-based childcare centres (CBBCs) in a rural district of Southern Malawi. The main purpose of the project was to explore ways of developing the skills of caregivers to support children with disabilities in CBCCs through the use of inclusive strategies and resources. This mixed-method study also sought to share evidence that will aid the Malawi government and other stakeholders to better understand the complex dynamics that ‘enable’ or ‘inhibit’ quality early childhood development (ECD) for children with disabilities.
This report presents the baseline pre-intervention data from a cluster-randomised controlled trial (CRCT) of a caregiver training intervention targeting CBCCs in Thyolo district in the Southern Region of Malawi. The trial involved 48 CBCCs randomly allocated to the control and intervention arms (24 CBCCs each). The training (intervention) consisted of a two-week training programme based on the basic National ECD Caregiver Training Programme, with additional modules on how to improve the inclusion and participation of children with disabilities in CBCCs. The baseline data was collected between December 2016 and May 2017. The aim of the trial was to measure changes in child development outcomes (equal to actual age), school readiness, caregiver satisfaction and motivation, changes in CBBC environment and routine and structure, as well as caregiver retention.