Early Childhood Development
The Crèche and Early Childhood Education program
The RCP has established an Early Childhood Development Centre since 2012 with great support from Kinderfonds MAMAS Netherlands. This is because it has been proven that children who attend early childhood development programmes (from age 0 to 6 years) have a 50% better chance of succeeding in primary school. Our ECD Centre focuses on preschool education to provide children with skills that empower them to achieve better results at school. The program also provides vulnerable children safe child care during the day. Our ECD Centre also enables refugee women to take up employment opportunities knowing their children are being cared for and educated.
Since 2012, RCP has established a new ECD Centre in Yeoville, Johannesburg, which provides early education and care to children both refugee and local children. The services provided by ECD are free of charge to those who are really vulnerable and cannot afford to pay for ECD fees.
This is because RCP believes that, daycare and preschool plays an essential role in the physical and mental growth of a child. At RCP we currently accommodate 110 disadvantaged children every year, from age 0-6, and prepare them to be ready to join the mainstream education system. Children are provided with daily meals and friendly space for their cognitive, physical and psychological stimulation and growth. Due to high demand of our services in other refugee communities, RCP has also started a system that is called “ECD Home based cluster”.
Due to the good reputation from both refugee and local families in the area, the RCP ECD Centre is attracting more parents to bring in their kids to the centre. The centre is now a second home to more than 110 kids, with an age range of 1 year to 6 years. While other 120 kids are already on a waiting list, more and more parents continue to apply for their kids to be accepted and placed in our ECD entre. But due to limited place and to ensure that we comply with government regulations, we have no other options but to turn down the request from parents. Although the services are free of charge, but RCP with the support of its donor do not compromise the quality and services offered to disadvantaged children. Comparing to other crèches in the area, we have been already distinguished ourselves based on the quality and services offered to disadvantaged children in the area.
Parents from other areas such as Bertrams, Kensington, Bez-valley, Rosettenville, Orange Grove and Johannesburg CBD, continue to request to RCP to also establish such centres in their areas, but this a demand which is above our capacity due to lack of more funding to have more centres in these areas.
Most of the parents of these kids are already RCP clients. The parents leave their children in the morning, in order to go out and fend for the family. Some of the mothers leave their kids in the care of the centre while they are in the tailoring classes.
The parents appreciates the services of the ECD, because they can carry on with their daily chores, knowing that their kids are in safe hands
As a way of reinforcing what children have learnt and to build fond child hood memories, the centre organises educational tours to different destinations. Children have been taken out to explore outside world. They visited various spaces such as Zoo Lake, Rand airport, Johannesburg Gallery and Joburg Theatre etc…
Other activities under ECD Centre
ECD Home Based Cluster:
These are child friendly home environments that RCP has created in disadvantaged communities, for children between the age of 0-6, who have missed opportunities to access early childhood learning and stimulation centre (nursery school). RCP is providing them with Toys, sleeping facilities and educational materials, and train child caregivers with early concepts, on how to educate and stimulate a child. This activity is always based in educator’s houses in areas influx of refugee communities, around Johannesburg. Both local and immigrant children are beneficiaries of this activity. Since its inception, RCP has reached 50 disadvantaged children.
Container Toy Library - Promoting the importance and the value of play among children
RCP’s Toys Library is used by the ECD to help children’s stimulation. RCP lend toys to home based clusters, to use them, for the benefit of children. Soon RCP toys library will be open to the public, provided that toys are used responsibly.
Our Toy Library contains a large variety of educational toys, puzzles and games on a regular basis. Our aim is to provide affordable access to age-appropriate toys and equipment, which will assist in the education and development of children from (although not limited to) six months to six years of age.
Quality toys are expensive and children quickly become bored with a toy once its play value has been exhausted. By providing new play materials every week or two, parents can save money and significantly contribute towards the development and education of their children.