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 country’s ECD ecosystem to a standstill. It impacted children’s 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 training. Step 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, including 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 mobile 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 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 micro-loan
- Step 3: Business Growth Programme: Apply for infrastructure upgrades, registration support and business mentorship
- Step 4: GROW 5-star certification
- Step 5: GROW Branding
How does the 5 Step to 5 Star programme work?