Informal crèche’s respond to a need in South Africa, where approximately 4 million children under 6 years old live in poverty, and only a quarter of these children have access to an early learning programme (Hall et. Al., 2017). The community members that run these crèche’s have little to no ECD qualifications, as well as limited resources (HAD, 2014).
Seeds of Africa identifies and recruits crèche’s like these in the West Rand, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni regions of Gauteng. Through the Adopt-a-Creché programme, Seeds of Africa attempts to “support and promote quality ECD education”, by providing teachers in these crèche’s with practical training programmes.
The training programmes are run by Masenze Ikusasa, and include: 8 relevant short courses, as well as a Level 1 & 2 ECD training programme.
The results of the evaluation, highlighted that training participants gain increased knowledge and skills in ECD, which ultimately promotes:
- Their own personal growth and development,
- An improvement in the capacity to manage the crèche (amongst crèche owners),
- An improved capacity to work with children (amongst teachers), and
- The sharing of knowledge and skills with others.
According to the evaluation findings, the increased capacity amongst the training participants, leads to a number of positive changes. Firstly, the participants’ report to be better able to manage and structure their crèche, leading to a more professional service and growth. Secondly, the quality of the participants interactions with children improves, as well as their ability to provide a stimulating learning environment. This has a positive impact on children’s learning experience, and may improve their opportunities for developmental progress. Thirdly, the participants report to have better quality interactions with parents too, which increases their involvement at the school, and may also improve their parenting skills. Finally, the broader community is uplifted through the sharing of information, and the increasing access that children in these informal settlements have to quality early learning programmes.