Kagiso Trust and Cotlands launched an exciting community initiative, Zamdela ECD Jamboree, at the community’s multipurpose centre on Wednesday, 9 October 2019. The objective of the event was to improve the lives of children in South Africa through better co-ordination and collaboration with various government departments. An ECD intersectoral committee was formed for the Metsimaholo Municipality in October 2018 with the purpose to advocate for the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD). The committee also provides an information-sharing platform for ECD centres and strategically increases access to play-based services in areas where children have no access to learning opportunities. The committee consists of, but is not limited to social workers, town planners, environmental health practitioners, nurses, NGOs, local municipality, ECD training organisations, corporates, ECD centres and primary schools etc.
Through the committee, Cotlands and Kagiso Trust arranged for key government departments to exhibit at the ECD Jamboree and promote their essential services to heads of ECD centres and parents. These services include helping ECD centres qualify for subsidies based on complying with the minimum norms and standards and assisting parents with registering birth certificates and child support grants to improve their family’s standard of living. Through intersectoral collaboration this initiative will improve the referral system to benefit the well-being of mothers and children.
In a recent report titled, “South African Early Childhood Review 2019”, South Africa had poor service delivery standards for the following three key elements:
- nutritional support,
- support for primary caregivers, and
- stimulation for early learning.
ECD practitioners, parents, caregivers and children attended the Jamboree to learn more about the essential public services that are available and how to make these services easier for the ECD community to access. At the Jamboree event, Kagiso Trust and Cotlands aim was to address some these areas of concern for parents, caregivers and heads of ECD schools.
The day’s activities included:
- Nutritional support advice informing ECD centres and parents how to provide a balanced diet for children.
- Support for primary caregivers by promoting our parenting workshops and the free online training platform; playsa.org. with an aim to get as many ECD practitioners and parents signed up to the free online course to develop their knowledge and skills.
- Stimulation of early learning for children by setting up a toy library with toy resources.
Together we can nurture, protect and develop our children holistically and ensure we give them the best start in life.