Location: Jinotepe / Ciudad Sandino Setting: Urban/Rural Established: 1980 Staff: 12

Location: Jinotepe / Ciudad Sandino Setting: Urban/Rural Established: 1980 Staff: 12

 

Subject Areas

Youth and Education: Cognitive Development, Child and Adolescent Development, Complimentary Learning, Development Interventions, Teaching

Health: Nutrition, Public Health, Social Work

 

Organization Objectives

CDI Bamby is an all-day childcare facility in Jinotepe that strives to help infants and children develop their mental and physical capabilities. It also encourages healthy families through parenting workshops and regular health checkups for participating children. Its goals are to:

  • Provide quality childcare to infants, toddlers, and young children through a safe and structured environment, an experienced and compassionate staff, and healthy meals and snacks
  • Integrate children’s social, mental, and physical development into exercises, games, learning activities, music, and dance (e.g. language development; listening, comprehension, visual, and counting skills; and literacy)
  • Involve families in their children’s early development through parent meetings and educational workshops

 

Program Information

 

1. Childcare and Education

Childcare at CDI Bamby is divided into six age groups: lactantes (newborns to 1 year olds), two infantes levels (1 - 2 years old and 2 - 3 years old), and three preschool levels (3 - 4 year olds, 4 - 5 year olds, and 5 - 6 year olds). The center is open from 8am to 5pm and has a weekly schedule of activities posted for each age group.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist with childcare for babies and children between the ages of one month and seven years
  • Develop and teach creative and recreational activities, especially singing and dance, (CDI Bamby currently has no arts or music activities)
  • Teach children beginning writing and reading skills, language development, listening comprehension, visual skills, and/or related topics
  • Research funding sources and write grants for infrastructural and programmatic support

 

Requirements

  • Intermediate to Advanced Spanish
  • Experience with infants and preschoolers
  • Patience with and passion for working with infants and children
  • Interest in child development, education, and/or related topics
  • Ability to multitask

 

2. Parent Integration and Involvement

Families are encouraged to be involved in their children’s development and education. However, participation may be difficult for parents who work throughout the day, have several other children, are teenage mothers and fathers, or are grappling with poverty. Currently, CDI Bamby offers a parent charla (workshop) roughly once a month. The staff hopes to increase the number and scope of these meetings.

 

Opportunities

  • Research and survey families to develop workshops that cater to their interests and needs in an appropriate methodological manner (e.g. roundtable discussions, guest speakers, support groups, visual and media-focused learning)
  • Develop and organize parent involvement activities to celebrate the children (plays, fieldtrips, etc.)
  • Support and assist in leading workshops to educate parents on child, health, and social developmental issues

 

Requirements

  • Intermediate to Advanced Spanish
  • Interest in education, development issues, and/or related topics
  • Excellent communication and organization skills

 

3. Health Assessments and Checkups

CDI Bamby seeks to renew its relationship with Jinotepe’s hospital and health center so that nurses can make periodic health visits to provide checkups for the children. This is especially important because infant and child mortality under five years old remains a major health crisis in Nicaragua. The host of contributing factors include malnutrition, lack of basic hygiene and sanitation services (e.g. latrines and safe water), and tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Health checkups would include height, weight, and cognitive development evaluations, individual health assessments, and biannual vaccination campaigns.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist CDI Bamby in reestablishing ties with Jinotepe’s hospital and health center
  • Organize and facilitate site visits for local health professionals to conduct health assessments, vaccinations, and checkups
  • Assist the staff in monitoring children’s physical development (height and weight measurements; hand-eye motor coordination; and dental, ear, and eye health) and in general daycare health
  • Promote hygiene and health awareness campaigns through posters, bulletin boards, discussions, and workshops to alert and educate the parents about proper nutrition, dental care, breastfeeding, diarrhea and dehydration, and/or related topics
  • Implement new outreach techniques to help the awareness campaigns target broader audiences
  • Create low-literacy appropriate print materials that can be distributed to parents, community members, and local organizations

 

Requirements

  • Intermediate to Advanced Spanish
  • Interest or knowledge in health, marketing, awareness, and/or related topics
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Ability to multitask

 

4. Fundraising and Outreach

CDI Bamby receives some assistance from the Ministerio de la Familia (the government-operated Family Ministry Mi Familia) and the Ministerio de Educación. However, most of its funding comes from limited daycare and student fees.

 

Opportunities

  • Write grants to potential donors and contributors
  • Research and develop techniques for regular fundraising projects, such as an annual picnic or a children’s dance recital in support of CDI Bamby
  • Connect and correspond with national and international organizations and institutions to request financial or in-kind assistance
  • Create a calendar and/or brochures with pictures of the children that highlight the vision and goals of CDI Bamby for fundraising and local outreach to families with children

 

Requirements

  • Intermediate to Advanced Spanish
  • Interest or experience in fundraising, marketing, outreach, grantwriting, and/or related topics
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Knowledge of graphic design

 

Program Supervisor (All Programs)

Juana Marta Mena Baltodano the director of CDI Bamby. This is her third time as director. She has been with the organization for many years, and is a member of the community cooperative that advises and governs the center.

 

Note: Responsibilities offered to each participant will be proportionate to their level of experience. Participants who are new to development work may predominantly support and assist current project agendas, while those with much applicable experience may be able to assume greater responsibility. Research projects are strongly encouraged by this organization to support each program’s objective because minimal resources are currently allocated for research.

 

Working Conditions

CDI Bamby is located across the street from Jinotepe’s hospital in a quiet neighborhood. The staff is comprised of one caregiver/teacher for each age level, a guard, a cleaning lady, two cooks, the director, and the sub-director. A large A-framed building in front of the center is falling apart; however, the center has no money to reconstruct it or tear it down. Two other buildings are separated by a courtyard and a playground—the first has a kitchen, a bathroom, and an administrative office; the second has rooms for each of the age levels (except for two of the preschool groups, which share a room). Since the children are just beginning to learn how to speak and understand Spanish and are quick to latch onto adult caregivers, interns and volunteers can easily transition into the children’s daily life. A typical work plan could include daycare activities, meetings and workshops with parents, creating outreach and educational materials (e.g. bulletin boards for parents to read), and administrative assistance with fundraising. Interns and volunteers will start work at 8am and usually have a one-hour lunch break at home.

 

Organizational Background

CDI was founded as a product of the 1979 Sandinista Revolution. It began offering childcare and educational alternatives to children of poor working families. CDI was initially made up of more cohesive cooperatives with parallel programs and staff interacting between sites. There are now dozens of CDIs in Nicaragua, including CDI Bamby, mostly functioning independently from each other. CDI Bamby is operated by the 10-member community cooperative Cooperativa de Atención Social a Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes Trabajadores (Social Care Cooperative for Boys, Girls, and Adolescent Workers). The center experienced funding issues in April 2006, which resulted in many staff members having to look for other positions. Hence, most of the current staff is new to the organization. CDI Bamby is affiliated with another children’s organization, Hogar Infantil Diurno La Mascota (The Pet Children’s Day Care), which is located in the neighboring town of Diriamba.

 

About CDI Bamby’s Clients

The daycare provides services for 70 infants and young children from urban and rural neighborhoods around Jinotepe. Many families have several children and are struggling to make ends meet. Most are active participants in Nicaragua’s “shadow economy,” which is the unstructured and informal selling of products and services (e.g. street food vendors and microenterprises repairing bikes, making shoes, etc.).