“When children start school, their mastery of math and language fundamentals is the most important factor in predicting later academic achievement.” —Prof. Greg J. Duncan, 2007
Following the best practices of parent coaching company ChildUp, the Arcanys Early Learning Foundation aims to instill basic math and logic skills to preschool children, with the active support of parents, in Cebu City's underprivileged areas. Recognizing early education as a key to success, the teachers efficiently impart practical teaching methods to parents and children, which ultimately grants the children a brighter future in academics, as well as in their personal and professional lives.
The ChildUp methodology
Arcanys Early Learning Foundation implements the ChildUp Early education model based on decades of practical, positive parenting experience in real life situations and families, backed by 21st-century international scientific research.
The 5 keys of the ChildUp Early Learning Model:
- Newborns are ready to excel at anything.
- Talent is made, not born.
- Parents as role models and first teachers.
- The goal is to be quite school-ready.
- Games are great learning tools.
The Kindle eBook “MATHnimals Preschool Math Games” is now available on Amazon. Based on the ChildUp Early Learning methodology, it aims to help parents around the world to teach their children to count to 20 in 100 days with 80 animals.
Meet our team
The Arcanys Early Learning Foundation is a team of academics, experienced educators, and early learning advocates who are 100% dedicated to the project. All of them work eagerly and faithfully with the communities involved to reach the foundation's goals.
The foundation was founded in 2012 by Alan Debonneville, a Swiss technology entrepreneur running Arcanys, a software development company in Cebu City, Philippines.
Currently, AELF has 5 board members: Alan Debonneville, John Debonneville, Frederic Joye, Michel Kurzen and Gabriel Pretre.
With programs running in Cebu City barangays Ermita, Pasil, and Suba, the foundation now has 16 full-time licensed teachers.
Low administrative costs
Over 85% of the Arcanys Foundation’s total costs is fully utilized for parent-child coaching activities. This covers the teachers’ salaries, essential educational resources such as the ChildUp Early Learning Game cards, as well as for special events like Math Olympics and snacks for the children to enjoy during the sessions. Only 12% of our budget is dedicated to funding research, monitoring, and assessments of the programs. In the end, administrative overhead accounts for less than 3% of the Arcanys Foundation expenses.
High Economic Impact
According to a large scale study conducted in 2016, which involved 579 children, preschoolers that received active support from their parents at home showed significant improvements. The children in the math coaching group showed almost twice as much improvement in number sense skills as the ones in the control group. Thus, by empowering parents to support children’s home learning, preschoolers are able to significantly improve their basic math skills.
Coming from families whose members earn $2 daily average, children who participated in AELF’s parent-child math learning program were given a better chance at actualizing their potential, pursuing further studies, and ultimately, getting high-paying jobs in the future.
The multiplying factor
Parent-child math sessions do not stop with the children who directly participate in the program. About half of the parents continue the training with their other children, proving the exponential efficiency of the method.
Due to the benefits of a playful early learning model in the recipient families’ daily lives, we’re hopeful that, in the long run, those children will also reuse the method with their siblings, relatives, and even their own future children.
Our journey so far
Arcanys Early Learning Foundation: The Beginning
• Serial Swiss entrepreneur Alan Debonneville is inspired by an initial research conducted by Dr. Sam Cheung and Dr. Catherine McBride-Chang on measuring Math literacy.
• Arcanys Early Learning Foundation is founded to promote home-based coaching and help parents be the first teachers of their preschool children.
• The Foundation designs and develops a unique early learning methodology with creative and friendly math games using ChildUp Game Cards, which parents can use to teach their children.
• The project kicks off with 1 project coordinator and 10 teachers serving 200 families in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City.
An Auspicious Year
• Arcanys Early Learning Foundation is registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission on the 18th of January.
• The foundation officially starts the District Transformation through Parent Coaching Program in Barangay Ermita.
• AELF begins to impart in LGUs, specifically the Liloan Day Care teachers, the importance of play as a teaching method.
• The foundation introduces the first Math Olympics, which is the culminating activity of the 3-month parent-coaching program. Children show their skills in Math while parents their learning in Coaching Guidelines, Child Development, and Behavioral Management.
The Game Plan: Nurture, Strengthen, and Sustain
• AELF project coordinator and teachers continue to implement the Parent Coaching Program in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City.
• The foundation draws up and submits grant applications to raise more funds for the program. AELF approaches international and local NGOs, namely UBS Optimus and RAFI (Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.).
Making Great Strides
• The foundation receives its official registration and license to operate from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on the 15th of April.
• RAFI awards the foundation a 1-year grant that amounts to $30,000, while UBS Optimus awards the foundation a 3-year longitudinal study grant that amounts to $210,000.
• Ph.D. student Kay Dulay conducts a study that involves 56 teachers deployed in 4 neighboring barangays—namely Ermita, Pasil, Suba, and Sawang Calero.
• The foundation also hires 10 psychology graduates to conduct the pre-assessment of 689 families participating in the study.
Outcomes and Transitions
• The project that is conducted in Barangay Pasil and supported by RAFI ends.
• RAFI auditors conduct a post-assessment of the project.
• The foundation concentrates its Parent Coaching Program only in 3 barangays, namely Pasil, Suba, and Ermita.
New Branding, New Horizons
• A fresh new AELF logo, consistent with Arcanys' new identity, revitalizes the foundation's look, emphasizing positivity and optimism for the children's bright future.
• The pilot group session, in which teachers handle 2 to 3 families in 1 location on the same schedule, kicks off.
• The UBS-funded project conducts an ongoing assessment to evaluate the progress of children in math and literacy and parents with their parenting skills.
• AELF conducts a comparative analysis in 3 private schools, regarding parent involvement in children's education and welfare with low- and high-income families.
A Promising Leap Forward
• AELF implements a program expansion and sets its goals higher to reach more families and at the same time, cut the cost from $90 to $50 per 3-month training.
• The foundation’s new program has sessions that comprise 2 children, 2 parents, and 1 teacher—to be able to support more beneficiaries while allowing for more game possibilities and interactions.
New Center, New Partner
• The foundation opens a third learning center in Cebu City, funded and supported by Swedish-based IT company ENFO.
• This partnership enables us to help more than 300 new families and provides 9,000 math classes, with 4 new teachers and one part-time supervisor for one year.
Our Program Goes Online
• Since mid-March, all Arcanys Early Learning Foundation centers have been closed until further notice to support the fight against COVID-19 in Cebu City. Our teachers have been adjusting to the situation by keeping on accompanying the children and their families in their preschool development through phone and video calls.
Great Results for our Online Program
• 98% of the children showed improvement in their math skills after following the AELF 3-month online program. That's the great results brought by the study research we led in 2021 with the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne on the effectiveness of the AELF program during the Covid times. Congratulations to the teachers, psychometricians, and researchers who worked together on coaching and monitoring over 100 participating families for this successful project!
+230,000Coaching sessions provided
+32,000People positively impacted