"The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul."
- DR Maria Montessor
Why enable infrastructure for early learning
Currently in Lavender Hill less than 50% of children under 5 years old have access to a quality ECD centre. Having access to and investing in good quality education from the beginning of a child’s life has a multiplying effect, helping to realise many other rights outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The importance of comprehensive early childhood development is evident, with research highlighting the most crucial period of human development to be before the age of 5.2 Despite this, only 38% of South African children aged 0 – 4 attend any kind of facility aimed at early childhood development. Access to early childhood centres of a high standard remains a barrier to success for children of low-income households.
Learning in Reach adopts an organic, asset based community driven development approach to facilitate long-term, sustainable change that is community owned.
Through ongoing training and support preschool principals, day-mothers and leaders of other out-of-centre solutions are empowered to effect the change they wish to see in their own community and to provide access to quality ECD for every child.
Project Aim 2020 - 2025
Establishment of a new, quality early learning hub, accommodating 100-120 children aged 3-6 years old in 2021.
30 ECD centres compliant with registration requirements in terms of infrastructure, zoning, health and safety and fire.
Lavender Hill Early Learning Hub
With the support of the HomeChoice Development Trust (HCDT), Learning in Reach aims to build an early learning hub to improve access to teacher and parent training, to model quality ECD and to strengthen the early childhood ecosystem. An outreach building fund is to be made available for independently owned preschools to access for approved infrastructure projects.
The early learning hub will house 4 Montessori classrooms accommodating 100-120 learners aged 3-6 years. These classrooms will facilitate outreach teacher training and mentorship.
Through this hub ECD projects will be connected to financial and other resources required to effect positive change and progress. Existing independent preschools have varying requirements from toilet installations, extensions and new builds to provide an environment conducive to early learning and to meeting all the government and national building standards required for a partial care facility. The development of these preschools will accommodate approximately 1150 children aged 18 months to 5 years.
Learning in Reach have actively trained, supported and equipped principals from these centres over the past three years and will continue to mentor and develop the leadership to sustainability. Each centre has a development plan for which they are responsible and required to drive, preparing and making their own funding applications to the outreach building fund.
– 4 classrooms with toilets, kitchen, front office, storage, parking, playground
– Dedicated trauma room
– CBO / NPO hot desk / info centre
– Training room
– Meeting rooms
– Training kitchen and dining room
Submitted plans are included as an annexure to this proposal.
What we have achieved so far
A partnership with HomeChoice Development Trust (HCDT) over the next 5 years will see 30 ECD centres in the larger Lavender Hill area enabled to meet infrastructure health and safety requirements and the development of an early learning hub.
The hub will offer 4 preschool classrooms with additional teacher and parent training facilities. This would ensure that the existing centres meet the legal requirements for partial care registration while offering high quality and sustainable ECD services to the children of the Lavender Hill community.
A building fund will make financial resources available for existing ECD centres to meet infrastructure requirements for partial care facility registration. Over the next 5 years, 19 of the 30 existing centres need to improve infrastructure to meet health and safety requirements,
How to help
By training Lavender Hill ECD teachers in Montessori teaching methods, and so stimulating a love of learning in 100 children per teacher trained over the course of each child’s 15-year school trajectory.