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About Us

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Who we are

Our goal is to help create a more equal and prosperous society by giving its vulnerable children the advantage

Welcome to Cotlands. As an organisation, we are working towards making South Africa a more equal society by creating access to play-based early learning opportunities for young children. Through the generous investments of donors and partners, Cotlands initiates and facilitates innovative, play-based early learning opportunities for young children. Children are provided access to toy library and playgroup programmes aimed at improving school readiness. The programmes are designed to ignite potential through play by enhancing children’s social-emotional development, as well as their cognitive skills which includes creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. The goal is to ensure that children have the required skills to excel when entering formal schooling and to develop holistically for their future success.

Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people

Nelson Mandela

Our Journey

Serving vulnerable children since 1936

  • PAST

  • 1936

    Established by US missionary nursing sister, Matron Dorothy Reece, after finding an abandoned baby on her doorstep.
  • 1942

    Public health department requested Matron Reece to make alterations to the home. Due to financial constraints, Matron Reece decided to close the home. After an appeal by the Sunday Times raised £4 000, the home was registered as a charitable institution.

  • 1996

    Cotlands paediatric AIDS hospice opened – the first in SA.

  • 1999

    Home-based care services for HIV babies offered in Soweto, Gauteng and Hlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal.
  • PRESENT

  • 2008

    As a children’s organisation we responded to the call of change for our children’s quality of our matric results and security of our children’s future success in the economy. We did this with a gradual integration of play-based early childhood development.

  • 2012

    In December, Cotlands announced the transformation of the Aids Hospice into the Cotlands Child Care unit due to the drastic reduction in Aids-related deaths.

  • 2013

    Early learning playgroup model for newborns to 4 year-olds launched in May and in the same year Cotlands launched its first mobile toy library in Gauteng, followed by an additional mobile library for Gauteng and one for KwaZulu-Natal.

  • 2014

    As a result of the success of the Cotlands toy library and playgroup model, the Department of Social Development asked Cotlands to assist selected NPOs improve the quality of their early learning playgroups.

  • 2019

    Cotlands embarked on a quest to create solutions for marginalised communities by providing online RPL and online training of ECD practitioners. Cotlands developed an innovative e-learning platform called Cotlands Ignite™ to address the national demand for accessible and affordable ECD qualifications.

Give them the benefit of play-based early learning.
Give them an Advantage.