Following an audit of 20 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in the Eastern Cape, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has contributed R400 000 towards resources and training. “Investment in the development, care and protection of children’s needs, is a priority, as it is our vision to ensure that ECD centres move from being day care factilities to centres of education and development,” explained Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Manager for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
Practitioners from the 20 ECD Centres recently commenced the training to improve their skills. Topics such as play-based learning and children’s rights; child development; different kinds of play and their role in language, science and numeracy; as well as language and literacy development, were covered amongst other subject matters. “The ECD audit revealed that teacher qualification upgrades and the provision of teaching aids programmes are fundamental if we are to improve education and childhood development in this area,” explained Green-Thompson.
On the final day of training, each ECD centre was presented with educational resources to ensure that they have the necessary equipment to stimulate learning and play. The equipment includes both indoor and outdoor apparatus as well as books and educational tools to aid positive childhood development.
The initial training is followed up with support and mentoring visits on an ongoing basis to address compliance matters pertaining to infrastructure and governance, health and safety and support for the use of resources. “Each ECD centre has received educational resources so it is critical that they are trained and assisted with the management and the effective use of these resources,” added Green-Thompson. She continued, “The study last year showed that most of the practitioners’ highest qualification is grade 8, so skills development as well as training support is crucial”.
The participating ECD centres support communities in Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Oysterbay, St. Frances, Thornhill, Patensie and Hankey. Stakeholders and ECD centres were identified through consultation with the Eastern Cape Education and Social Development Departments. Structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with key stakeholders. An extensive amount of detailed interviews were conducted with the centres. In addition, interviews were carried out with NPOs, the Departments of Education and Social Development; the South African Police Services; the Education Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) provincial office and the local municipal offices.