Our Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme came into existence in 2014. We started out with a Play and Learn Centre which served 1300 children a year, and partnerships with 24 ECD centres. The word spread and impact was noticed by other principals in the area. In 2015, other ECD centres expressed an interest in joining forces with Topsy to improve the lives of the children in their care by creating better ECD centres. We now work with 26 ECD centres and 4 Centres for Children with Disabilities and reach 2,000 children on average each month.
Our ECD programme would not have such great success if it wasn’t for the strong relationships we have built with the ECD principals and practitioners, their hard work and dedication to improving themselves and their centres. One such Lady, Rose, attended the Money Management training we provided, which was facilitated by our partner NGO ASHA Trust. Like many of the ladies in our ECD programme, Rose is proud to be an ECD centre principal but never imagined her centre could operate like a business.
According to Rose, before the training her money management skills were limited and as a result there were many times she had to juggle between her income and expenses of the centre. Rose proudly admits her relief since the training, as she now has a budget in place that guides her spending. She now knows how to prioritise her spending without compromising the quality of operations of the centre. She is confident to present her accounts and is ready for the Department of Social Development’s monitoring processes every time it is required. She expresses her gratefulness for the opportunity that we have offered her and her ECD centre.
2017 is the third and final year of training for Rose and the other principals in this 3-year training cycle. We look forward to offering more opportunities to more practitioners in the year ahead.
Our ECD programme not only focuses on the education of young children, but offers food security, health services and emotional support to develop the child holistically. We believe that all children deserve the opportunity to thrive, regardless of where they come from.