Since the exciting opening of their new preschool building in July 2016, the children and teachers at Masiphathisane in Folokwe Village are continuing to do well. In January 2017 the 4-5 year old group went on to attend Grade R at Nguberhamba Primary School and a new lot of little 3-4 year olds attended their first day of pre-school on 11th January.
In 2014 the Bulungula Incubator (BI) program extended their Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme to start with children aged 0-3 years. This programme begins with ECD in the Home where their homebased care team visit each household and work with the parents of infants in methods to stimulate their children’s mental and physical development. This programme is supplemented with a twice weekly playgroup programme for the infants, toddlers, and their parents. These playgroups have proven to be a crucial improvement for the preschools. The BI program now has a steady flow of bright, stimulated children entering the preschools. Since the launch of the playgroup and ECD at Home programmes, there is a significant change in the behavior of the children when they arrive at their first day of preschool. They are far more confident and independent and there is a lot less crying for their mothers! They just enter on Day 1 and get on with it !
The health and nutrition of all the children at Masiphathisane Preschool is taken care of with 2 hot meals and a fruit snack every day, monthly clinic outreach days, and visits from the Starfish Wellness Wagon.
In addition to the opening of the new preschool building, the teachers of Masiphathisane Preschool also received their certificates in their NQF 4 ECD courses last year. These are 2 year courses that the Bulungula Incubator enabled them to study with Masikhule in Mthatha. They were presented with their certificates in December 2016.
Report by Rejane Woodroffe, Director Bulungula Incubator.