Whole Child International

Whole Child International (WCI) is a U.S.-based non-governmental organization focused on improving the caregiving environments for vulnerable children by effecting changes within child care centers and orphanages. The “National Evaluation of Quality of Childcare in El Salvador” project is an intervention of educational trainings (for local government officials, directors, and caregivers) and technical assistance within centers.

Currently in El Salvador, there are approximately 7,000 children being cared for in Child Development Centers and Residential Care Centers. These centers are unique in that children spend a significant amount of their time in them (12-6 hours per day, 5-6 days per week). There are two types of Child Development Centers in El Salvador: Centros de Desarrollo Integral (CDIs) serve children ages 6 months- 6 years and tend to be urban or semi urban; and Centros de Bienestar Infantil CBIs) serve children ages 2-7 years old, tend to be more in rural areas, and provide more community-based care.


The main question being asked in this project is, “Does providing training for institution providers and caregiver improve child outcomes?”

The project will examine whether the following changes make an impact on outcomes:

  • Change in institutional structure and environments
  • Change in caregiving knowledge, behaviors and attitudes
  • Change in caregiver health and emotional wellbeing
  • Change in parental/guardian attitudes and child rearing practices
  • Change in parental/guardian health and emotional wellbeing

The project will also be able to explore other factors that influence child caregiving such as local cultural norms, and social norms differences between ethnic groups.


  • Principal Investigators:
    • Kathryn Whetten
    • Jan Ostermann
    • Eve Puffer
  • Research staff
    • The United States: Rachel Whetten, Amy Hobbie, Michael Nipper, Leonard Ng’eno, Andrew Weinhold, Tomas Matza, Karen O’Donnell, Morgan Barlow, Alyson Bancroft, Maggie Holly
    • El Salvador: Alejandra Acevedo, Ambar Margarita Mata Rodriguez, Ana Julia Osorio Elías, Andrea Elena Mcleod, Brenda Raqual Huezo Sanchex, Connie Gabriela Lozano Contreras, Danial Alexis Guardado, Emerson Osmaro Sánchez Recinos, Fatima Gabriela Navidad Panameño, Ingrid IIvania Cárcamo Contreras, Jessica Esmeralda Rivera de Hernandez, José David Escamilla Hernández, Josué David Rodríguez Jovel, Karen Elizabeth Mena Herrador, Karla Josseline Ortiz Ponce, Melissa Michelle Rivas Montoya, Mónica María Méndez Pereira, Norelis Manzana, Raymond Francisco Villalta Alfaro, Verónica Beatriz Mendoza Álvarez, Dina Cáceres, Pedro José Amaya Martínez, Yessenia Patricia Alvarez Anaya, Grazzia Grimaldi, Jacqueline Durán, Marta Eugenia Zavaleta Lemus


Source of Funding: Whole Child International

More project information can be found at http://chpir.org/_homepage-content/research/international-projects/whole-child-international/

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