Sunday, April 11, 2021
Public Relations

Launch of 5 steps to 5-star ECD programme

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Local non-profit social enterprise, GROW Educare Centres (GROW), has an ambitious vision to establish a 5-star early learning centre that unlocks human potential in every neighbourhood across South Africa. To make this possible, the organisation is calling on all  Early Childhood Development  (ECD) facilitators to join their new innovative programme that aims to help ECD  centres in low-income areas become more professional and financially sustainable. 
 
Empowering educare centres in delivering excellence 
 
Managing an ECD centre is a complex business. Through its new 5 Steps to 5-Star’ ECD programme and fully integrated GROW mobile App suite, GROW is equipping ECD facilities across South Africa  with all the right tools to manage their journey of becoming a 5-star early learning 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 and under-served communities.   Now we are sharing our technology and expertise,  systems and tools with early learning facilities across all communities to help build and shape the broader ECD sector for the better.  This is our gift to the ECD sector,”  says Tracey Chambers, CEO of GROW Educare Centres. 
 
Early Learning facilities need support 
 
Last year, COVID-19 turned our lives upside down and posed formidable challenges for parents and  families in terms of childcare and education. The pandemic brought the countryECD ecosystem to a standstill. It impacted childrens access to ECD services and thousands of education facilities’ capability to provide these essential services due to the strained economic climate. 
 
Time to sign up 
 
GROW is inviting ECD owners from all over the country to join the GROW 5 Steps to 5-Star programme and  online training platform by signing up to Step 1. This step provides access to technology  (the GROW mobile Apps),  ECD tools and data-free online trainingStep 1 is available to all  ECD owners irrespective of their affiliation to other ECD support organisations,  socio-economic standing or registration status. 
 
As part of Step 1, ECD centres get free access to the custom-built GROW Apps for principals, teachers and parents. These Apps help them manage their entire pre-school from the palm of their hand.  All functionality is included, together with the GROW generic online training and access to GROW resources such as policies, procedures, templates and forms. 
 
The principal / owner App boasts functionality such as learner and staff attendance, income and expense trackers,   professional learner assessments and reports, teacher assessments, parent communications  portal and performance tracking against the 5-star standards. The 1mobile technology  is designed for Android devices, can work in offline mode and uses very little data. 
 
Centres also receive access to data-free online teacher training (12 modules) for all their teachers and assistants to support their professional development. 
 
“At GROW, we believe that excellent pre-school education should be accessible and affordable  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 sector by partnering with ECD  owners to offer quality and professionalism that under-resourced communities have never seen before,”  concludes Chambers. 
 
The new GROW model has 5 steps consisting of: 
Step 1: Access to technology: GROW Apptools and online training.  
Step 2: Quality education programmeApply for the GROW daily programme, education 
equipment, and advanced teacher training, and mentorship through an affordable 
micro-loan  
Step 3: Business Growth Programme: Apply for infrastructure upgradesregistration 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 ECD programme 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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