Holistic Early Childhood Development Support Programme

Holistic Early Childhood Development

Holistic Early Childhood Development Programme

Quality early learning is critical to success in later life. Since 2009, the SLT has been supporting Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives in the communities living near our lodges in South Africa.

Although South Africa has a strong ECD curriculum, support for its implementation in classrooms is limited. Educational resources are sparse and infrastructure often severely lacking. Financial support from the government is minimal and complex to access, and parents are required to pay school fees, but are often unable to do so.

The programme, which provides training, workshops, and onsite support to 100 Centre

Managers and Practitioners supporting 2 000 children, is focused on achieving six objectives:

• Effective implementation of the national curriculum

• Sound management practices

• Access to government funding and services

• A healthy and safe learning environment

• Community and caregiver participation

• A well-resourced ECD centre

The SLT ECD programme aims to move centres through a four-year support cycle after which they will emerge as Good Practice centres. At this point, a new group of schools will be accepted into the programme.

Key Successes

  • The programme supports 100 Centre Managers and Practitioners and approximately 2 000 children.
  • To date, 80% of practitioners have received in-depth curriculum training as well as on-site support to ensure transfer of these learnings to their classrooms.
  • All 17 Centre Managers have met the requirements of government registration and 16 of 17 centres are now receiving government funding.
  • Donations to our Covid-19 Relief Programme meant that the 17 centres were part of the only 4% of ECD centres able to reopen safely during the early stages of the pandemic.
  • Thanks to the support of donors to our Resource Drive, 70% of classrooms will have been equipped with best-practice educational resources by the end 2022.
  • Annual resource drives support the equipping of specific age-related classrooms each year as well as central areas such as outdoor playgrounds, music equipment, libraries, and school nutrition programme utensils.

85% of brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life. Our Holistic ECD Support Programme currently supports the physical, cognitive, psychological, and social development of 2000 preschoolers.

Holistic Early Childhood Development Support

How can I support this project?

In 2022, the ECD Resource Drive will equip the 20 classrooms for children between four and five-years-old at an estimated cost of R1.8m (est US$112500k). Any contribution made will go towards this annual Resource Drive.

NOTE: Emergency food relief is no longer required, as access to school nutrition programmes has been restored.

Schools receive a local language library, toys and games, creative arts and fantasy kits, basic furniture and other important indoor and outdoor equipment