Early Childhood Development

Focus on iThemba believes in the power of Education and more research is highlighting the significance of the first five years of a child’s life in terms of crucial brain development. We currently work alongside ten Pre-Schools in the Valley of 1000 Hills and Molweni areas to ensure tomorrow’s generation gets the best start today.

    • The model aims to upgrade existing Pre-Schools to become legal and sustainable businesses (five have now reached this level).
    • The children receive quality ECD care enabling them to thrive at later Foundation Phase Schooling.
    • The Principals and teachers receive support, training and mentorship. The model is holistic in nature with its core strength being our ECD Monitor who spreads her time across the various Pre-Schools and at our Focus on iThemba offices. Her role is vital as she provides support and motivation and ensures that the training is being implemented correctly. The ten Pre-Schools we are in partnership with are:
Embo Child Educare Care  – Project Dawn Embo Valley
Swelihle Pre-School – Project Light Embo Valley
Mba’lenhle Pre-School – Project Bloom Embo Valley
Sizacankane Pre-School – Project Rise Embo Valley
Siyajabula Pre-School – Project Delight Embo Valley
Entokozweni Pre-School – Project Joy Kwa-Nqetho
Siyabaphephisa Pre-School – Project Bright Molweni Area
Sthandokuhle Pre-School – Project Faith Inanda Dam Area
Smiley Kids Pre-School – Project Smile Inanda Dam Area
Leth’usizo Pre-School – Project Bridge

Inanda Dam Area

We continue to partner with excellent, respected organizations to achieve our goals:

– ECD TEACHER TRAINING – NELRU (8 Principals and 25 teachers received training in 2018)
– MANAGEMENT TRAINING – Ikhono Business Solutions
– NUTRITION – Joint Aid Management (JAM)
– EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT – GROW with Educare and The Unlimited Child

Project Joy Metamorphosis

“I can’t put in words how I am feeling…I am just so excited,” explained Mrs Bonisiwe Gwala, Principal and Owner of Entokozweni Pre-School as she stands in the courtyard of her new dream school. “The children will benefit so much from this. They were so excited about the bright classroom container colours when they arrived last week and of course they cannot wait to finally have a jungle gym! God Bless all of the partners in this project.”

On 4 April, partners who are aligned in the Project Joy classroom drive connected for a breakfast on the iThemba Campus in Hillcrest and then a site visit. The Pre-School, which is located just a few minutes from the iThemba Campus, is currently undergoing an incredible life-changing metamorphosis with the opening date set for May.

“It has been a two-year project involving many key individuals and careful planning. Ultimately the parents, children, neighboring community and our incredible 30 partners are the heart and glue of our Project Joy story,” explained Tayla-Anne Goss, Team Leader at Focus on iThemba. “Investing in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and therefore brain development is the foundation for economic prosperity. We continue to see the overwhelming positive effects of elevated ECD in the ten Pre-Schools we partner with. Through this extensive school upgrade the ECD offering here will be greatly lifted.”

The architect designed improvements for the school, by LEAD architects, include using five insulated shipping containers, three for classrooms, one for a kitchen and one for an office. The children will benefit from flushing toilets, floor coverings that promote hygiene, accessibility and a fun learning environment, and a much-needed jungle gym.

“We are counting the days to when the school will officially open its doors and will become a beacon of hope in this community,” concluded Goss.

We are very grateful to our partners for investing in this very deserving Pre-School. Listed in alphabetical order:

  • Belgotex
  • Bidvest SACD
  • Container World
  • Cotswold Leisure Centre & Estate
  • Cotswold Management Association
  • Cretemix
  • Dezzo Roofing
  • Ed Weakley (Engineer)
  • Ethekwini EW Consult
  • EXR Construction
  • Fry’s Metal
  • GMA Foundation
  • GROW with EduCare Centres
  • Jocelyn van der Walt
  • John Clarkson (Land Surveyor)
  • Jojo Tanks
  • Kerry Ingredients
  • Key Group
  • Kloof Round Table
  • Megan Harker
  • Mike and Pippa Hankinson
  • Northside Electrical
  • Lead Architects
  • Luke Bailes
  • Sarah and Willim Hennessy
  • Spar Group
  • Selwyn Green
  • The Collies Group
  • Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions
  • 6 Bar Development