THE HCET recognises that early childhood development plays a vital role in determining the learning potential and life chances of children. As a result, it manages a comprehensive ECD programme comprising home visits to caregivers and children up to schoolgoing age, and intensive ECD in a dedicated centre in the Trust complex from age four to six.
Effective parenting programme
This programme is aimed at improving the parenting of young children on the 30 farms serviced by the Trust, thus improving their physical and mental development and their ability to benefit from their schooling.
Effective Parenting trainers start interacting with women when they are pregnant, and continue with home visits until the children reach schoolgoing age. Mothers are educated about the effects of alcohol on their unborn babies, malnutrition, and domestic violence, and taught how to start stimulating their children. Expectant women and mothers are given manuals, and encouraged to attend effective parenting workshops as well as the Trust’s health clinic.
Fundisana Early Learning Centre
Children aged three to four are taken up in the nursery school in the Fundisana Early Learning Centre where they are taught in their mother tongue by qualified ECD practitioners in a safe and well-equipped environment.
At age five, they move up to Grade 00 during which they are taught basic concepts in their mother tongue as well as in English. At age six they proceed to Grade R during which they are taught in English.
The Grade R teachers and interns are trained at accredited training institutions. They are also trained to implement the Basic Concepts and Language Programme (BCP), developed by Dr Louis Benjamin, which was piloted at the HCET and has been used extensively for the past eight years.
All trainers and teachers are coached in the classroom, and supported by a dedicated teacher developer. Learners are regularly assessed, which allows problems to be timeously identified and remediated.