aeiotu Fundación Carulla

Implementing institution: Fundación Carulla

Country: Colombia

Source: CEI

Execution period: 2009 - in progress

Plataforma de Prácticas Efectivas:


To accompany children in their search for the meaning of life and things, in a natural and joyful way, with an educational philosophy that considers the child as the active protagonist of their own learning, offering quality educational services for early childhood.


A network of comprehensive early childhood centres funded by multiple institutions and collaborative networks.


The program closes vocabulary knowledge gaps for 90% of children, as well as weight-for-height development gaps by 30%.

Seeking an adequate psychosocial development of children, Fundación Carulla has developed a standardized school model: Child Development Centres (CDI) with an intervention model that includes two central axes: metacognition and physical well-being. aeioTU is a school model that seeks to provide comprehensive care for children who present degrees of vulnerability in their early childhood. The Foundation works closely with the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), which provides lists of beneficiary families. aeioTU also has funding from the Ministry of Education as well as other private entities (Fundación Mario Santo Domingo, UBS Optimus Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank, among others).

With a child-centred methodology, aeioTU has integrated art as part of the pedagogical process for its didactic and practical potential. Through different cultural events, children are offered various opportunities to express themselves through an array of languages. The physical development axis includes the coverage of 75% of children’s nutritional needs, the promotion of healthy behaviours and a vaccination service.

The ConecTU application allows teachers and families to track children’s progress from 6 developmental dimensions, and with a view to clear learning objectives: cognitive, socio-emotional, physical, creative, communicative, nutrition and health level. A guide is available for teachers with pedagogical and didactic tools ranging from the organization of significant transition moments during the day, to the organization of the environment and the accompaniment of the child in his learning. The guide is complemented with workshops, trainings, and even a diploma on the basic principles of the aeioTU educational experience.

In order to expand its activity, in addition to the building of centres, Fundación Carulla offers advisory services to different schools so that they can implement the methodology. Today, the aeioTU program includes 28 of its own educational centres, spread over 13 cities in the country, and advises 300 schools.

Although Colombia has managed to improve several of its social and economic indicators over the past 20 years, the education system still has significant gaps between rural and urban areas. Of 100 students entering school in urban areas, 82 per cent complete their education, while in rural areas, only 48 per cent do so (UNICEF, 2012).

With regard to early childhood, only 53% of children aged 0-5 attended formal school in 2010 (UNESCO). Based on this situation, the public sector has worked to provide quality education for all, developing for example, the “National Zero to Always Strategy”, which brings together policies, programs, projects, actions and services aimed at early childhood and seeks to transform the way in which early childhood services have been provided, from a model based on work by sectors to another based on the comprehensive provision of early childhood services.

In 2010, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) in collaboration with Universidad de los Andes-CEDE, has carried out an experimental study with a control group to assess the impact of the aeioTU program. 1,219 children, between the ages of 0 and 8, living in two neighbourhoods in the city of Santa Fe, were selected. The sample was randomly divided into two groups (one intervention group and one control group) in order to follow their progress in terms of cognitive, social-emotional and physical well-being in a longitudinal manner. The comparison of the results has shown that the children who were part of the aeioTU centres have closed the vocabulary gaps by 90%. In terms of health, the same children reduced weight-for-height developmental gaps by 30%. Thus, innovation has proven positive effects on children’s development in their early years and, despite its significant costs, it represents a timely innovation to combat inequalities in education.


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