Johannesburg — COMPANIES and individuals have been encouraged to make the most of the upcoming Mandela Day to invest in Early Childhood Development (ECD).
The day will be commemorated next Thursday.
GROW Educare Centres, a non-profit organisation, is in the lead up to the Mandela Day mobilising individuals and companies to partner with it and other ECD centres in different capacities to bring about sustainable change in celebration of the late Madiba's life and legacy.
Tracey Chambers, CEO of GROW Educare Centres, said they represented 30 centres across under-resourced communities in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
All are independently owned and working in partnership with the organisation to achieve a five-star ECD rating.
"With your help this Mandela Day, we can make an even greater impact," Chambers said.
ECD centre opportunities for Mandela Day 2019 include donate locally made, and child-appropriate books towards mini-libraries, giving outdoor play equipment or towards the labour costs of laying artificial grass as well as donating educational toys and equipment.
Individuals and companies can adopt an ECD centre through a two-five year partnership to will help them to reach five-star ECD level and run a sustainable business.
These Mandela Day opportunities are based on a thorough needs assessment done by the GROW Educare Centres project.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his 2019 State of the Nation Address, expressed to see all South African children receive at least two years of ECD before they begin Grade 1.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation also recently announced that its strategy for the next ten years of Mandela Day will focus on policy change, with ECD taking centre stage.
ECD is viewed as a child's crucial development phase between birth and to school.
During this phase, children learn foundational cognitive abilities, attitudes and skills in preparation for primary school and the rest of their life.