Grow ECD Finance: Making quality education delivery a possibility for all

Grow ECD Success Story | Lionel and Chantal Braaf | Happy Valley Day Care

Happy Valley Day Care in Strandfontein, Cape Town, established in 2012 by Lionel and Chantal Braaf, has 45 learners, three classes, with four teachers. Chantel says, “Before we started with Grow, things were stressful as we didn’t have a proper curriculum. We had no educational equipment because it was very expensive. As an ECD, we had no access to finance to try to improve our business.”

Lionel says, “We used a low-cost loan from Grow ECD to buy the curriculum and classroom equipment we needed. We were delighted that we got approved for that loan because it helps us improve our centre.”

“Getting a loan through a bank is so difficult for a small business. Also, taking a loan is a risk for us because you share your credit record and sign up for a financial commitment. We have a relationship with Grow ECD and trust them. Plus, Grow ECD gives us training on how to implement what you have invested in. This makes us know that Grow has our best interest at heart and cares about our school.”

All the resources we need to run a quality early learning programme

Chantal says, “Grow helped us with a micro-loan (done through a registered financial service provider) and we paid it off. I get all the lessons, all the equipment we need, all the training we need and an app that helps me run the business properly, it is very good value for money. Now the atmosphere at our ECD is quite relaxed because we all know what we’re doing and what we’re going to do tomorrow and we have all the equipment we need. It is amazing”.

She says, “The kids are seeing the difference, we have the resources they can play with to learn. I showed parents how the kids are learning through play now and they are so excited. The feedback is very good. People are hearing about our school by word of mouth, so we won’t be afraid to put up fees for next year. Using the Grow ECD App, my paperwork is at a minimum, because I fill in everything on the app. I know exactly where my money is going to now, what I paid and what I did not pay. The App makes things so simple. I can stand at shopping mall, and check on the App if I need this, and immediately add it as an expense.” 

“We trust Grow ECD and are grateful to have them on our side!”

Lionel and Chantel have successfully completed an application for a second loan for infrastructure improvements through Grow ECD. “We will pay this off over the next 24 months. It takes a bit of time to put everything in place but now we are ready to do our infrastructure upgrade and refresh our centre. Parents will see the quality and the professional look of our centre and that makes us different from other centres. It will help us gain and keep customers,” says Lionel. 

“Grow ECD sees our needs and our potential and we have built a relationship with them. That is trust, and we are grateful to have them on our side,” he says.

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.