5 Step Programme

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Our 5 Steps to 5-Star ECD Programme

Getting to 5 Stars is a journey. We’ve developed a 5 step programme to help ECD centres become a GROW franchisee at their own pace and capacity while also expanding our programme to reach more centres.

Attend an info day in
your city or online

Apply for Step 1

on WhatsApp

How does the 5 Steps to 5 Star ECD Programme work?

 Watch this quick video to understand every step of the programme:

Step 1:
Access to technology: GROW App, tools & online training

 This step is free. Any ECD centre may apply for this step.

ECD Centres get access to the custom-built GROW Apps for Principals (Giraffe app), Teachers (Meerkat app) and Parents (Lion app).

These apps help you manage your entire preschool from the palm of your hand! App features include enrolment, staff management, attendance trackers, learner and teacher assessments, income and expense trackers, access to GROW tools such as policies, procedures and forms, and parent communications.

You will also receive access to our data-free online teacher training (12 x modules) for professional teacher development. We’ll help you through our WhatsApp support system along the way.

Step 2:
Quality Education Programme

In our experience, the lack of access to educational resources is a significant barrier for learning outcomes.

In Step 2 ECD centres get everything from Step 1, plus qualifying  ECD Centres apply to receive a micro-loan to purchase our beautiful all-inclusive GROW curriculum and classroom equipment. We’ll also provide advanced online training and education mentoring to help take your learning outcomes to the next level. Centres can also access in-house training sessions.

The GROW programme (daily curriculum) and accompanying classroom kit has been developed in consultation with leading educators and occupational therapists over the last five years. It is one of the key reasons why children who attend a GROW centre achieve age-appropriate milestones.

It is a play-based learning programme that provides the teacher with everything she needs per day, for each age group. The daily schedule includes a theme for each day of the teaching year, graded by age group, and specifically references how to use the GROW equipment kit to achieve the early learning development outcomes (ELDAs) that are aligned to the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).

Step 3:
Business Growth Programme

Many ECD owners cannot legally register because their infrastructure does not meet the minimum requirements. Registration issues relate to compliant structures, zoning, approved buildings plans, sufficient space, health and safety, and sanitation requirements. Centres must also offer an approved daily programme to get registered (which is why step 2 is essential). An investment in meeting these minimum infrastructure requirements could potentially unlock a government subsidy, which in turn can make the low-fee centre financially self-sustainable.

In Step3 ECD Centres get everything from the previous steps, plus qualifying ECD centres apply to receive a micro-loan for infrastructure upgrades to help achieve registration requirements and improve the early learning environment.

We’ll provide virtual business mentoring through WhatsApp and online training to help take your small business to the next level.

Step 4:
GROW 5-Star certification

Step 4 provides centre owners with a stamp of approval (like a hotel rating system) that they can proudly display in their centre. The accreditation will involve a site inspection by a GROW assessor. Feedback will be provided to centres owners after the site visit to deliver practical actions to reach the next level. In step 4 ECD centre get everything from previous steps, plus ECD Centres receive GROW Educare Centre Star certification. The centre’s star rating is promoted publicly, and the centre receives Star branding.

Step 5:
GROW Branding

We will select the cream of the crop from steps 1-4 to apply to become a GROW franchisee. In step 5 ECD Centres get everything from the previous steps, plus they are invited to join the exclusive GROW Educare Centres franchise network of top quality ECD centres. Benefits such as marketing support, paid-for teacher interns, fundraising and incentives, and the support network become available.

Attend an info day in
your city or online

on What’s app

Our mobile app and learning technology

We’ve invested in an App Suite and an online training platform to make our recipe for success more scaleable and accessible for ECD owners across South Africa. The mobile technology is designed for Android devices, works in offline mode and uses very little data

There are three mobile apps:

  1. Giraffe App for ECD Owner
  2. Meerkat App for Teachers
  3. Lion App for Parents

How do the GROW Apps and Online Training Work?

The ECD Owner’s Giraffe app helps her reach her goal of becoming a more professional ECD centre by allowing her to

  • manage the school (create classes, calendars and profiles, staff attendance)
  • support the learners (enrolment, attendance, assessment results and reports)
  • empower the teachers (professional evaluation, resources, training)
  • grow her professional skills (data-free online training)
  • engage parents (learner progress reports, fee-payment tracker and notification)
  • track her progress towards 5 Star
  • track her progress towards registration
  • manage her finances (record income and expenses, a statement and progress)
  • Access professional resources: policies, procedures and templates, educational tips, training and registration checklist.

The Teacher’s Meerkat App helps her:

  • Track learner’s attendance
  • Assess learners and identify development areas
  • See and respond to development areas per learner
  • See messages from the principal
  • Access ECD resources

The Parent’s Lion App helps them:

  • View their child’s assessment results
  • View their child’s attendance
  • View their payments and outstanding balance
  • Access educational resources
  • Receive notifications from the principal
  • View the school calendar

Attend an info day in
your city or online

on What’s app