SPONSORED - In commemoration of the 10th year anniversary of the passing of former president Nelson Mandela, AVBOB has recognised the pivotal role that Early Childhood Development (ECD) phase plays in the development of our children. The Group anchored its 2023 Mandela Day activities around the implementation of the AVBOB ECD Programme.
The programme aims to improve the standard and quality of education for pre-school learners in underprivileged communities. The launch of the AVBOB ECD Programme at nine centres across the country seeks to support ECD centres by providing the facilities with operational requirements, training of teachers, learning support materials, meals for the learners and elevating the standard of the institution to achieve registered status with Department of Social Development and Department of Basic Education.
AVBOB CEO, Carl van der Riet explained that the foundation for education is laid in early childhood development. He spoke at Little Angels Day Care Centre in Weilers Farm (Kanana Park) outside Johannesburg, where the ECD Centre received over R600 000 in donations.
“We believe that the care for and education of our young children is the foundation for building a successful country where all can participate and prosper. The foundations laid during this early age will support the years of future learning. Without the early foundation, the education that comes afterwards will not have a secure base. Our children will struggle to achieve their full potential,” said van der Riet.
Adopting unregistered ECD centres
According to a Thrive by Five Index (the largest survey of preschool child development ever undertaken in South Africa) released in April 2022, there are 1.3 million children aged between the ages of 4 and 5 years. However, an estimated 930 000 (72%) attend an Early Learning Programme (ELP). While 45% of children perform as expected, 27% need to catch up, with 28% falling far behind and requiring intensive intervention at an ECD level.
The objective of the AVBOB ECD Programme will be achieved by adopting unregistered ECD centres and providing them with the support they need to meet the requirements of being registered by the Department of Social Development and the Department of Basic Education. By so doing, AVBOB will assist centres with unlocking access to funds that registered ECDs receive from the government and, as such, can be self-sustaining in the medium to long term.
Van der Riet further highlighted, “Caring for our children is a high calling. As our beloved former president, Mr Mandela said, education is the greatest way to change our country.” The total investment value in the AVBOB Early Childhood Development Programme is just over R48 million, with ECD centres set to be adopted for two years.
AVBOB is deeply committed to education and continues to support several successful nationwide programmes, including container libraries, the Road to Literacy campaign giving away portable trolley libraries to primary schools, and the STEP 12 programme for learners and teachers of Grade 12 languages. Expanding into ECD centres is a natural extension of the Group’s passion for education.
Below are the ECD centres that have been identified as the beneficiaries of the AVBOB ECD Programme in each of the provinces:
- Gauteng: Thulatwana - (Weilers Farm) Little Angles Day Care Centre
- North West: Makapanstad - Letlotlo la Thuto
- Free State: Bethlehem - Thabang Preschool
- Limpopo: Thohoyandou - Mvelaphanda Crèche
- Mpumalanga: Witbank - Hlalanathi Preschool
- Eastern Cape: East London - Gwesgwesha
- Western Cape: Mfuleni - Young Mind
- Northern Cape: Kimberley - Shalom Christian
- Kwa-Zulu Natal: Molweni - Genesis Crèche