Early Childhood Education in South Africa

Dec 13, 2011

Training and support in Langauge Development

One of the pre-schools supported by Ikamva Labantu
One of the pre-schools supported by Ikamva Labantu

Ikamva Labantu’s (IL) programmes reach 3 broad segments of the disadvantaged populations in the poverty-stricken Cape Town townships: carers and orphans and vulnerable children and youth; early childhood development (ECD) practitioners and pre-school children; and older persons.

Ikamva Labantu’s programmes are focused on three main areas: community health; community learning and development; and community resources. These programmes are interlinked to ensure that community leaders, teachers, parents, caregivers and families are empowered them to find and implement solutions, with our resources and guidance where necessary, enabling them to achieve independent and fulfilled lives, for themselves, and for those they help and care for.

This account provides an overview of some of the activities in the ECD sector where the donations received through Global Giving have made a major contribution.

  • Food security

Township pre-schools are mostly infomral and started by 'mamas' in their own homes. Until these pre-schools get registered with the Department of Social Development and start receiving government subsadies, these women struggle to cover the operational costs as the fees are minimal. In order to ensure that childrren receive adequate nutrition, Ikamva Labantu provides regular monthly food parcels to 125 pre-schools, reaching approximately 7 500 children. This Food Security programme is coupled with education and training focussing on promotion of optimal nutrition for children. The training cycle consists of nine sessions per trainee and topics covered include Menu planning, Nutrition and HIV and AIDS, Nutrition care, Micronutrient deficiencies, and infant and young child feeding.

  • Ikamva Labantu’s Language Programme

Ikamva Labantu’s Language programme continues to work within three areas: parent communication groups; language training in ECD schools and early identification and intervention of children with special educational needs.

  1. The parent communication group is receiving positive feedback from all participants who are engaged in improving the communication environment of their households. They are helped to understand their crucial role in the emotional development and learning potential of their children. The first 10-week training programme has been completed and a second programme will be completed by February 2012. Four community workers have been specially trained in parenting skills to support caregivers in their homes and at the pre-schools.
  2. The language training programme in the ECD centres has focused on five pilot workshops and accompanying practice sessions relating to the development of communication in children and the identification of children with learning disabilities. These workshops were presented in six ECD schools. Language packs have been developed to distribute to pre-schools which include posters, pamphlets and pictures.
  3. The early identification and intervention of children with special educational needs (SEN) programme has seen training in SEN given to IL teaching staff and six pre-schools, all community workers and at the forum for all ECD teachers and caregivers. Referral procedures have been established and there has been valuable networking with associated disability forums.

In February 2012, the first training cycle for 40 ECD teachers will commence at Ikamva Labantu's ECD Training and Resource Centre. The training will focus on infant care, language development and parent support and is based on experiential learning methodology.

Ikamva Labantu would like to thank you for your continued support of this programme which is making a true difference in lives of some of the world's most disadvantaged children by ensuring that they have a strong foundation for future learning and break-away from the vicious cycle of poverty.

Speech therapy at IL
Speech therapy at IL's best-practice site
Little eaters
Little eaters
Health screening at one of the pre-schools
Health screening at one of the pre-schools



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Ikamva Labantu

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Project Leader

Jovana Risovic

Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

Where is this project located?

Map of Early Childhood Education in South Africa