August 2023.

Twenty-seven local Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners, who formed part of a capacity-building initiative, were recognised for their hard work and dedication in a heartwarming ceremony. Held at the Naledi Banquet Hall, North West, the event coincided with June youth month celebrations, marking a significant milestone in promoting holistic childhood development.

Funded by Waterloo Solar and facilitated by the Early Care Foundation, the aim of this ECD Practitioner Capacity Building initiative was to uplift and empower practitioners to obtain accredited ECD skills certificates.

“With this support, the programme is expected to have a profound impact on the ECD centres and, more importantly, the lives of the children attending these centres. The ECD practitioners are now equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to create engaging and nurturing environments, focused on holistic development,” stated Claire Phutieagae, Community Liaison Officer for Waterloo Solar.

Through this initiative, almost 900 children from the 13 ECD centres have reaped the benefits of improved care and education, laying a solid foundation for their personal growth and academic achievements. Furthermore, seven of these ECD centres were selected to be transformed into ‘Centers of Excellence’, with their principals participating in an intensive six-month training programme, ensuring their readiness to lead these exemplary centres.

“The programme helped us to develop children holistically as we were using formal teaching methods. Now children are enjoying the activities, and we understand lesson planning,” said Kerapetse Sophinah Mogweemang, ECD practitioner at Boikhutso Pre-school and programme participant.

The ECD intervention spanned 15 months and encompassed two comprehensive training programmes for practitioners. Topics covered during the training included Child Developmental Milestones for 0-5 years; Nutrition; Children’s Bill of Rights; Classroom Management and Administration; Lesson Planning; Daily Programme Implementation; and Effective Utilisation of Learning Resources.

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