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Strengthening Families and Teachers’ Roles in Early Childhood Development: Systematization of the Trayectorias Educativas Completas Experience in Arauca, Norte de Santander, and Santander, Colombia

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Save the Children Colombia,Save the Children International

Trayectorias Educativas Completas, or Complete Educational Trajectories project, was implemented by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Development and Infancy Corporation (CID by its Spanish acronym, Corporación Infancia y Desarrollo) in three departments across five municipalities along the Colombian border with the aim of improving the preschool to primary school transitions of students ages 5-6, with a particular focus on migrant students. The project, which ran from May to December 2021, engaged stakeholders from the National Ministry of Education (MEN by its Spanish acronym, Ministerio de Educación Nacional) level down to teachers, parents, and students, through workshops, training, coordination, and support activities.

Through a systematization effort of project activities and using the framework of UNESCO’s ‘five dimensions of the right to education,’ information was gathered in the project’s context, actions, achievements, success factors, challenges, lessons learned, and possibilities for replicability. The project prioritized activities which bolstered the accessibility and availability of preschool education. Despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, xenophobia, short timeline, and traditional teacher mindsets, the project succeeded in reaching, 3,690 children, 432 were migrants, across 33 educational establishments and 120 classrooms. A total of 2,677 families and 138 teachers were involved. The project was supported by strong alliances and public policies, the presence of complementary skills from different actors, the use of department-level roundtables, and provision of socioemotional support to families. Analysis of lessons learned, and discussion of project sustainability and replication can inform the continuation and/or expansion of the project within and beyond the Colombian, migrant, and preschool educational contexts.

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