Initiative: Jardines Municipales de la ciudad de Santa Fe
Institution: Municipalidad de la ciudad Santa Fe
Problem: In the city of Santa Fe until 2011, access to early childhood education, ranging from 45 days to three years, was concentrated in private institutions located in the historic and commercial center of the city. According to census data for 2010, only 12 per cent of children under four years old attended the early childhood educational system. The families of the most vulnerable sectors saw their participation restricted. The service for this sector was limited to few that was managed mainly by community or social organizations. These inequalities - in relation to access and quality of early childhood education - were identified mainly in the west, north, and coastal areas of the city, historically affected by floodwaters. These are consolidated urban areas, emerging from spontaneous and unplanned developments and often have deteriorated essential services. While some families sent their children to kindergarten, for most people it was not an option. The lack of early childhood education also hindered women from continuous education and employment.
Solution: The creation of the Municipal Early Childhood Education System (SMEI) and the implementation of a comprehensive and inclusive public policy for early childhood at the local government level guarantee children from vulnerable sectors the right to education.
Impact: When the SMEI was institutionalized, it established itself as a framework to regulate early childhood education and provide equal opportunities to quality education. Curriculum was designed and planned to constitute a universal service. In addition, mechanisms and forms of management were put in place with the provincial state and civil society organizations as not to institute parallel or differentiated curriculum. Furthermore, sixteen municipal gardens were created, in the north, west and coast of the city, beginning with neighborhoods that needed them the most.