Local non-profit social enterprise, GROW Educare Centres (GROW), has an ambitiousvision to establish a 5-star early learning centre that unlocks human potential in everyneighbourhood across South Africa. To make this possible, the organisation is calling on all Early Childhood Development (ECD) facilitators to join their new innovative programme thataims to help ECD centres in low-income areas become more professional and financiallysustainable.
Empowering educare centres in delivering excellence
Managing an ECD centre is a complex business. Through its new‘5 Steps to 5-Star’ ECDprogramme and fully integrated GROW mobile App suite, GROW is equipping ECD facilitiesacross South Africa with all the right tools to manage their journey of becoming a 5-star earlylearning centre, measure their performance and access essential training content.
“Many of South Africa’s ECD centres operate in the shadows – without certification,professional staff or the right resources required to educate and care for young children.GROW has a long history of operating high-quality ECD centres in vulnerable andunder-served communities. Now we are sharing our technology and expertise, systems andtools with early learning facilities across all communities to help build and shape the broaderECD sector for the better. This is our gift to the ECD sector,” says Tracey Chambers, CEO ofGROW Educare Centres.
Early Learning facilities need support
Last year, COVID-19 turned our lives upside down and posed formidable challenges forparents and families in terms of childcare and education. The pandemic brought thecountry‘s ECD ecosystem to a standstill. It impacted children‘s access to ECD services andthousands of education facilities’ capability to provide these essential services due to thestrained economic climate.
Time to sign up
GROW is inviting ECD owners from all over the country to join the GROW5 Steps to 5-Starprogramme and online training platform by signing up to Step1. This step provides accessto technology (the GROW mobile Apps), ECD tools and data-free online training. Step 1 isavailable to all ECD owners irrespective of their affiliation to other ECD supportorganisations, socio-economic standing or registration status.
As part of Step 1, ECD centres get free access to the custom-built GROW Apps forprincipals, teachers and parents. These Apps help them manage their entire pre-school fromthe palm of their hand. All functionality is included, together with the GROW generic onlinetraining and access to GROW resources such as policies, procedures, templates and forms.
The principal / owner App boasts functionality such as learner and staff attendance, incomeand expense trackers, professional learner assessments and reports, teacher assessments,parent communications portal and performance tracking against the 5-star standards. The1mobile technology is designed for Android devices, can work in offline mode and uses verylittle data.
Centres also receive access to data-free online teacher training (12 modules) for all theirteachers and assistants to support their professional development.
“At GROW, we believe that excellent pre-school education should be accessible andaffordable in every neighbourhood. We also believe that qualified teachers and centre owners should be paid fairly. That’s why we are changing the status quo in the ECD sectorby partnering with ECD owners to offer quality and professionalism that under-resourcedcommunities have never seen before,” concludes Chambers.
The new GROW model has 5 steps consisting of:
Step 1: Access to technology: GROW App, tools and online training.
Step 2:Quality education programme: Apply for the GROW daily programme, education
equipment, and advanced teacher training, and mentorship through an affordable
Step 3: Business Growth Programme: Apply for infrastructure upgrades, registration support
and business mentorship
Step 4: GROW 5-star certification
Step 5: GROW Branding
ECD centres that want to find our more can visit the GROW website (www.growecd.org.za)and watch the detailed videos (5 Steps to 5 Star ECDprogramme and How does the GROW Apps and Online training work?).They can also join free Information Days at the GROW regional office or online.Alternatively, get started by sending ‘Hi‘ to the WhatsApp bot at+2721 531 2134.
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