What is Aflatot Program?
The Aflatot programme for children who have not yet entered primary school (usually 3-6 years of age) provides an early childhood education programme that lays the foundation for this social and financial literacy. The programme builds on the evidence in early childhood education that such early investments provide children with advantages that are amplified and reinforced over time.
Early childhood is the most critical time for positive intervention. Children’s development during this stage is strongly affected by their environment, and that effect continues to exert a strong influence on the rest of their lives. It is of the utmost importance that educational and life-skills programmes such as Aflatot also begin at this early stage. Children gather the building blocks of social and financial literacy even before they get to primary school. Much of what they know about planning, budgeting, saving, spending and using resources is based on their daily routine. Even before monetary concepts are learned, simple concepts such as making full use of available resources, i.e. ‘finishing one’s food’ or ‘buying only necessities’, are some of the daily realities that young children are exposed to that already relate to Financial Education.
Preschool children are also developing time-preferences when they understand that there are times when it is better to wait for something rather than to have it now. Children as young as 3 years of age are exposed to the social values of giving and sharing, not just with gifts or tangible materials, but also with interaction with others. Other important life skills that are embedded in Aflatot include taking turns, making decisions and setting goals. We believe that, even in their early years, children are highly capable and competent, regardless of their backgrounds, experiences and ages. Children are active, self-motivated learners eager to understand the world in which they live, and learn when supported through adult interactions.
MelJol has piloted Aflatot program in year 2014-15, in 60 ICDS centers (Integrated Child Development Scheme) supported by Department of Women and Child Development, Maharashtra. It has trained 67 ICDS teachers who then have taken this program up to 1200 children in the areas like Ghatkopar and Santacruz of Mumbai. MelJol has also incorporated parent’s participation to ensure their active involvement in the program.