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Join our movement to grow Toy Libraries in South Africa

No of toy libraries (operated by Cotlands)
No of Toy Library members (ECD centres)
No of children impacted by toy libraries
No of educational toys lent out

Two ways to take action.

Help fund toy libraries

Support our advocacy goals by donating funds

Toy libraries provide books, toys, games and other educational resources to young children that have no access to play-based early learning opportunities. We need your help to fund toy library programmes. Donate today and help us set up a toy library in a community that need it the most. Please make your donation below with a secure payment through PayFast (MasterCard and VISA).

Pledge your support

Online Petition

We have a responsibility to help our children exercise their right to access quality play-based learning opportunities.
It’s time to get our book libraries to serve as safe play spaces, where we host play sessions for our children and, where we offer individual toy lending services to parents that cannot access any play materials. Sign our online petition and get members of your community to do the same.

Stimulation for early learning

Did you know that over ONE MILLION CHILDREN in South Africa aged three to five years still do not have access to any form of early learning programme?

It is our mission to change this by increasing access to play- based early learning opportunities through toy libraries. Of the ONE MILLION children that do not have access to play-based early learning opportunities, we can meet the needs of EVERY child if we set up a toy library in every book library in South Africa.

Cotlands wants to advocate for more toy libraries in book libraries and by doing so, our parents will be able to access play materials, which in turn will help them initiate more enriched play-based learning opportunities at home.

For the next year we will focus on one area where we work and understand how to access the decision makers in community libraries. We plan to do a number of engagements with a local community library and want to lobby for the inclusion of toy libraries in the community library.

What does our advocacy campaign set out to achieve?

One of our strategic goals is to advocate for young children to access quality play-based early learning opportunities by influencing the adults that live and take care of them to make time and space to play and learn to improve school readiness.

Our advocacy campaign sets out to achieve TWO important goals: 

Advocacy goal 1

Advocate for the implementation of public libraries to be equipped with toy libraries.

Advocacy goal 2

Inspire and motivate adults that live and take care of a child(ren) to make time and space to play and learn to improve school readiness.

The challenge

Department of Sports, Arts and Culture

The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is responsible for the promotion of early language development and home language development; the provision of book and toy libraries; and the promotion of music and arts among young children. Provinces are constitutionally responsible for library services and hence ensuring sufficient services for young children. They can assign these responsibilities to municipalities.

Under 6.2.2 Departmental responsibilities, the National Integrated ECD policy, states that the department is responsible for the provision of book and toy libraries (pg 78).


More information on Toy Libraries

Why is play so important

Biological reason to invest in ECD

Essential for cognitive development; 90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of 5 years old

Economical reason to invest in ECD

Research by Professor James Heckman shows that investing in high-quality birth-to-five programs for children can deliver a 13% per year return on investment.

Developmental reason to invest in ECD

Access to high quality play programmes help children develop a set of holistic skills, these include social & emotional, language, cognitive, fine and gross motor.