Balawadi and Balvachan programs focus on early education. Pratham lays emphasis on preparing the child to enter formal school and subsequently handhold the child for the next two years till it gains confidence to be a independent learner. The Balawadi program targets children from low-income families in the age group of 3 to 5½ years. The schools are located in the same locality either at a municipal school, community space or a teacher’s home. The teachers are trained by Pratham. Each class has about 15-20 children with an instructor from the local community and the sessions last 2 to 3 hours every day. The program is aimed at sharpening child’s personal and social skills, physical motor skills, cognitive skills and language skills.
The subsequent Balavachan program involving class 1 and 2, addresses developing basic skills in vocabulory numeracy and writing. The child makes gradual progress towards learning independently with confidence.