One of the challenges that continue to face childhood development in South Africa is the scarcity of age-appropriate, durable and adequate educational toys and resources. Early Childhood Development experts, Ntataise has secured educational resources and equipment worth nearly R1m to assist community ECD programmes in some of South Africa’s poorest communities.
Established in 1980, Ntataise, which means “to lead a young child by the hand”, was created to help women in disadvantaged areas of the Free State establish ECD programmes in their community. The organization has grown to extend support to about 3,000 programmes across the country.
“The equipment and toys that include weight scales, books, puzzles, skipping ropes and balls will be distributed to 55 ECD facilities in Gauteng, the Free State and Mpumalanga”, said Ntataise Executive Director,Sarah Mcguigan. The benefits of ECD can have a telling effect on a child’s development into adulthood, she added.
Earlier this year, Ntataise put together a selection of essential educational toys, materials and equipment suited to children from birth to six years old. Ford Credit, the finance arm of Ford Motor Company in South Africa, funded the purchase of the toys and equipment. Ford Credit SA risk manager James Segal said: “Being a responsible corporate citizen means playing an active role in addressing the many challenges South Africans face”.
“We were able to put together a resource pack of educational toys, equipment and books to equip 55 ECD programmes,” McGuigan says.
Each pack has items for indoor and outdoor play that contribute to children’s cognitive, language, physical and social-emotional development. Ford Credit also donated a new Ford EcoSport to Ntataise which is currently being used to support ECD programmes across the country.