Local Government Units (LGUs) and the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council lead the management of 200 National Child and Development Centers (NCDCs), more commonly called Bulilit Centers, all over the country.
The NCDC is a joint flagship project of the ECCD Council and LGUs, particularly the mayors of municipalities and cities. It is the ground-level venue for the implementation of ECCD activities, particularly the Early Learning Program and the Family Support Program strategies. It serves as a convergence point for the community effort on child development as well as a repository of related and relevant data and documents on best practices in the community on early childhood care and development. These Bulilit Centers are mostly in hard-to reach areas which are in dire need of educational services for very young children aged 0-4 years, as well as those in strategically located cities and municipalities that showcase early childhood development models. The leadership and management capacity of the local government are also considered in the selection of NCDCs.
The Bulilit Center is located in a government property identified and recommended by the local government where it operates, typically inside a public elementary school campus or in other strategically located areas of the municipality. It has a minimum lot area of 250 square meters and a floor area of not less than 120 square meters, of reinforced concrete structure. The ECCD Council provides funds for the construction of the NCDC and its content, such as furniture and fixtures, manipulative learning materials, story books and posters, musical instruments, arts and craft materials, hygiene and toilet bath kits and equipment as well as computers and other teaching tools for the use of Child Development Teacher (CDT). For its part, the local government, provides the required land area and its development, the perimeter fence and playground structures including the salary of the CDT from the second year of its operation.
The 200 Bulilit Centers are in 70 of the 81 provinces of the country, including Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Laguna, Quezon, Sorsogon, Aklan, Leyte, Agusan del Sur, and Davao Oriental. Metro Manila has three Bulilit Centers. By 2016, the ECCD shall complete 500 NCDCs all over the country.
The establishment of Bulilit Centers is pursuant to the ECCD mandate as articulated in R.A. 10410 or the “Early Years Act of 2013” or the EYA Law. This is “An Act Recognizing The Age From Zero (0) To Eight (8) Years As The First Crucial Stage Of Educational Development And Strengthening The Early Childhood Care And Development System (ECCD System), Appropriating Funds Therefor And For Other Purposes.” The ECCD System referred to by R.A. 10410 is being implemented by the Early Childhood Care and Development Council (ECCD Council) which consists of a Governing Board and a Council Secretariat. The member agencies of the ECCD Council include the Department of Education (DepED), Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), National Nutrition Council (NNC), the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and a private individual. Responsibility for the early years from zero (0) to four (4) years belongs to the ECCD Council while that for the formative years from five (5) to eight (8) years belongs to the DepED.
The EYA law recognizes the general framework set by UN Human Development Reports , especially in terms of the principle that early childhood educational interventions help disadvantaged groups most and that they are important entry points to address the disadvantages faced by children…providing quality care and education opportunities are the most powerful strategies in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty.