Early childhood development (ECD) is critical to equip young children and growing minds with the skills and information they need to develop as best they can on a number of levels.
Much of an individual’s brain development takes place before the age of six, making early childhood one of the most important stages of mental growth.
Not only does ECD help children to build cognitive skills such as language and a basic understanding of mathematics, it also challenges them to grow emotionally and adapt to a number of social situations, easing their growth into teenagers and eventually into adulthood.
It is for these reasons that Tree (Training and Resources in Early Education) strives to make suitable ECD programmes available to children in underprivileged communities in KwaZulu-Natal. The main goal at Tree is to ensure that young children develop to their full potential.
It works closely with communities to build knowledge of and skills in childcare and development. It has more than three decades worth of experience in capacity building and project management of ECD projects.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
By training caregivers in various communities and developing the skills of more practitioners, the organisation expands the reach of the ECD programmes it has developed. More children benefit.
This also allows the organisation to improve the standard of its programmes continuously, through the feedback received from the trainees.
Continuous support of the practitioners it has trained and the ECD centres they establish by Tree underpins the sustainability and growth of these centres so that more and more children can continue to benefit from them.
In addition, as more practitioners are trained, they are able to run home-based programmes and bring their skills to areas without established ECD centres. This means children from such areas can benefit without having to travel great distances.
The efforts of Tree and the practitioners it trains go a long way to reducing the ever-growing gap between South Africa’s middle and upper classes and their less-privileged counterparts by providing these children with a similar educational head-start.
To find out more about Tree or to get involved in its activities, visit the Tree website. If you want to join Tree and take part in its training courses, download the application form from the website.
Tree has four established training centres – in Durban, Richard’s Bay, Port Shepstone and Ladysmith, all in KwaZulu-Natal.
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