Early Childhood Development

//Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres are places where toddlers and pre-school children are looked after while their guardians are working or looking for work. It is crucial that these centres provide age-appropriate stimulation and learning, but too often the principals and teachers do not have the necessary skills or knowledge.

Township educare centres face many challenges, including inadequate structures, inexperienced teachers, unhealthy learning environments, poor nutrition, and insufficient emphasis on children’s cognitive, physical, emotional and social development. Further, in order to register with government and receive subsidies, centres must meet minimum requirements in areas including infrastructure, financial management, curriculum and teacher training. Without funding or support, many centres struggle to upgrade and to meet government requirements.

SAEP works with centres over a period of several years to help them qualify for government registration and subsidies and to become self-sustainable, so that they can deliver quality early learning services to children in Philippi.

This gives these children the best possible foundation for their further education and careers.

How to Help

Your financial donations help us provide our ECD Centres with their essential needs, here are some ideas:

  • R100 buys two wooden puzzles
  • R500 buys 5 blankets
  • R1000 buys 5 scooters

In addition to financial donations to help us buy essentials, we need your expertise and new or hardly used educational equipment. Please email us to find out our current needs.

Donate online from anywhere in the world through one of these secure platforms

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Highlights and Outcomes from 2015

Icon Cross Cutting Child protection

966 children and 57 teachers reached

Icon Primary Reading 126 training and mentoring sessions for teachers and principals

Icon Hope Hat 13 SAEP supported ECDs became independent


Highlights and Outcomes from 2014

Icon ECD Wheel Chair  17 children with special needs supported

Icon ECD Teacher   50 teachers/ principals supported and trained

Icon ECD food   Daily meals for 715 children in 10 ECD centres



All I can say is big thanks to SAEP, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am now
Constance Ndzelwane, Thandolwethu Educare
I would like to thank SAEP for helping me get to where I want to be. They gave me direction and opened my eyes. They have also always been there for me, for example, when I had water flooding my house they took the children out and paid a loan to get it fixed. I would not have been able to afford the loan otherwise. I gave my RDP house to the children, it is better for me to stay in the flooded house than for the kids. SAEP has given me a lot and changed my life for the better.
Daisy Thomsana, Nkosi Educare
I’m also very grateful for SAEP, if they didn’t come and rescue me, there was a big chance I would have had to close Sunshine Educare at the end of the year
Liziwe “Lucy” Sithetho, Sunshine Educare
Thank you so much for what you have done for our children and our educare. SAEP has done so many fantastic things and helped to rebuild our educare. Without SAEP we wouldn’t have been able to take the next step, but with your help we’ve taken a big step from shack to a proper building
Nobuntu Mkhancele, Zamukhanyo Educare

Our ECD support includes

  • Train and mentor principals on best practices in centre leadership and management
  • Assist centres to qualify and register for state subsidies
  • Train and mentor ECD practitioners on a registered learning programme to ensure that daily lesson plans are prepared and implemented, classrooms are equipped for holistic development, and the individual needs of the children are attended to
  • Advocate for improved service delivery in the ECD sector by helping centres to forge partnerships, access funding, and achieve self-sustainability
  • Provide primary caregivers with information about child development and access to support networks to ensure the rights of every child are met
  • Maintain or upgrade centre structures to ensure a safe learning environment
  • Provide a nutritious meal for every child in each of our partner centres every day


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