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12 Oct 2012

Early childhood care in Yumbo, Colombia

In Colombia, public and private sector entities work together to provide early childhood care to families in neighbourhoods which lack these services.

One of Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Colombia’s focuses is on children under 6 years of age who are in need of basic care and early education.

The programme involves families and helps to improve the professional skills of carers.

El Caracolí is an early childhood developmental centre and is supported, amongst others, by the Smurfit Cartón de Colombia Foundation. It is a fundamental initiative in the area because local authorities lack the know-how, need funding, and require support involving professionals and parents in matters that concern children at this critical stage of their development.

The project was implemented in February 2011 in Yumbo, an industrial city near Cali, where our main production plant is located. The main components of El Caracolí include health care coverage for children from birth to 5 years of age; help to prepare them in the transition to formal education in order to prevent failure and dropout; support from qualified carers to provide a warm and receptive environment; and a better educational atmosphere in safe school facilities with adequate teaching material.

This initiative is aligned with a Presidential programme that has focused on the importance of early childhood development as a crucial aspect in the country’s future. This is one of the ways in which Smurfit Kappa seeks to improve the social and economic structure of local communities.