We promote the holistic development of young children through our work which is aligned with government policies and the latest international research.
Our approach includes:
Facilitating inter-sectoral collaboration between government, civil society and business to enable the ECD sector to provide quality services for young children.
Supporting ECD forums to improve the quality of facilities and learning in ECD centres through information sharing and resource distribution.
Training ECD principals and practitioners in research-based programmes to improve their knowledge and skills.
Working with parents to understand the importance of a diverse diet and to make healthy, affordable food choices to meet the nutritional needs of their growing babies and young children, starting in the first 1000 days.
Recognising the local context, beliefs and practices, and integrating local knowledge and skills in our work.
We manage the Do More Foundation’s Leave No Young Child Behind programme in the municipality. We are partnering with the Do More Foundation to manage their Young Child Programme in the municipality. We support 91 ECD centres with training, sharing information, distributing resources and delivery of Do More nutritious porridge.
We facilitate monthly Young Child Forum meetings and have organised presentations on topics such as affordable, healthy menus for ECD centers by the Department of Health’s dietician; child safety by uPhongolo Municipality Disaster Management and SAPS; requirements for ECD registration by the Zululand district environmental health officer, and the function shift from DSD to DBE. ECD principals and practitioners also regularly attend workshops to improve teaching and learning at their ECD centres. Topics have included making little folded books, interactive reading, playing memory and matching card games.
In November 2021 the ECD centres benefitted from a substantial donation of Lego/Duplo toy boxes to the value of R1.5-million, which was secured for uPhongolo by Zero2Five Trust and Care for Education. Zero2Five Trust provided excellent training for ECD principals and practitioners, many of whom have never had the benefit of Lego toys in their centres. We were fortunate to receive a further donation of Lego valued at R600 000 in 2022 from Care for Education through Zero2Five Trust in 2022.
Do More Foundation Newsletter:
Our team has been part of Do More Foundation’s Eat Love Play Talk programme that supports parents and caregivers to give their young children a strong foundation in life, to be the best they can be and to do well at school and in life. ECD principals and practitioners attend training once a month and in the following month run a session with parents. This is repeated each month for 7 months. The programme, which focuses on healthy eating, building loving relationships, playful learning and language development, has been very well received by the ECD centres and parents who attend the sessions and try out new ideas at home.
We support the Siyaphambili ECD Forum which has 50 members in 7 wards. We mentor the Forum Committee and support ECD centres with skills training to improve teaching and learning and we distribute early learning resources. The Forum meets every second month.
Thanks to Zero2Five Trust for organising a donation of R600 000s worth of Duplo through their partnership with Care for Education, and for training practitioners to use the resources with their children. The ECD centres prize these resources highly as children develop many important cognitive and social skills when playing with Duplo bricks.
Our team is visiting each ECD centre to gather data to compile a database that reflects their registration status, infrastructure, staff complement and attendance figures. Our food gardens facilitator, Lwazi Thwala, regularly visits the five ECD centres that are part of our gardening project.