Happy Hours Owner

Grow ECD Accelerator: Empowering ECD centre owners to run sustainable preschools  

Grow ECD Success Story | Maria Dithlakanyane | Happy Hours Day Care Centre

Maria’s ECD centre, Happy Hours Day Care based in Garankuwa, Gauteng was struggling to implement themes, a proper daily programme and had no learning resources. Seeing a Facebook ad for the Grow ECD Accelerator programme Maria knew she had to apply! “I saw many centre owners saying how much Grow helped their centres, so I said let me try,” says Maria. Attending the Accelerator programme was Maria’s first step to providing 5-star early learning.  

During the Accelerator programme, Maria learnt about leadership, her relationship with money, money management, budgeting, financial sustainability, and how to get registered.  

A curriculum, teacher’s guide and all the resources needed to provide quality education

Happy Hours Day Care Centre can be found near a primary and secondary school and parents found it easy to drop off siblings at the preschool too. Maria’s vision was to provide a space to protect and keep children safe and to create jobs in her community. But Maria wasn’t happy, “We didn’t have learning resources and the practitioners were struggling to compliment the themes and keep children busy with educational activities.” She not only wanted to provide a safe space for her children, she wanted to provide a quality education for them too! 

That is why, after the ECD Accelerator, Maria decided to sign up to Grow ECD’s SMall Business Programme.  

Grow ECD’s Small Business programme includes: 

  • A play-based and NCF-aligned curriculum 
  • Classroom kit of educational equipment
  • Online, interactive teacher’s guides 
  • Business and education mentoring 
  • In-person training 

Grow ECD also offers owners a low-cost financing option you can trust. In the Accelerator training they explained about Grow ECD and the curriculum and classroom kit. At my centre I didn’t have resources and didn’t have enough money to buy. I applied for a low-cost loan from Grow. I had already gotten quotes for loans from other places and those were much more expensive than what Grow was offering. And it does work. They don’t just give you a loan, they look at your income and expenses, so that you can understand what you can afford. They help you to reach the amount that you can afford to pay so that you are safe and not putting your business at risk,explains Maria excitedly. 

A 5-star early learning programme your children, teachers and parents will love

Since joining the Grow ECD Small Business Programme, Maria is so proud of her centre and says that more customers are asking about her centre now than ever before. “The classroom is organised, introduction and implementation of themes are easy, and the children enjoy playing with the different educational activities while being helped by the teacher. The teachers all know exactly what they must do and I save time by not having to monitor them constantly. 

Grow ECD is an early learning social enterprise. We equip ECD businesses and organisations with the skills, support and resources they need to provide 5-star early learning for every child.