Early Childhood Development

 Penreach ECD Programme currently reaches a total of:

ECD Practitioners

Children between 0 and 4 years

ECD Centres

The impact of the Penreach ECD programme

The impact of the Penreach ECD programme and

Practitioner Skills Development

The % increase in the number of children accessing quality ECD services, working toward closing the gap for young children from marginalized communities

% increase in the number of ECD centres registered with DSD

% of practitioners registered and attended all 7 Teacher Development Workshops

Child Development

The impact of the Penreach ECD programme on Child Development




Gross MS


Fine MS





Penreach ECD Centre-based


Centre-based ECD

A package for partner Early Childhood Development Centres consists of :


  • Training (Basic ECD, ECD Centre Management)
  • Mentoring support (Classroom management, activities, child monitoring, play, centre management)
  • Nutritional support (daily nutritious meals for children)
  • Financial management training and support
  • Linking ECD Centres with donors
  • Training and support to implement Story Playgroups & Toy Libraries
  • Tools to monitor progress
  • Natural Playground Development Toolkit
  • 113 ECD Centres
  • 394 ECD Practitioners
  • 11 820 children
  • FNB
  • Oppenheimer Memorial Trust
  • Halls
  • Sappi
  • Anglo American Chairman’s Fund
  • Dischem Foundation
  • Sasol
  • Department of Social Development
  • Nal’ibali
  • Cotlands

In-service Workshops

In order for the children to thrive, the teacher has to create the correct learning environment for them.

Coupled with the Department of Education,  we at Penreach also tackle the main challenges that teachers face. This we achieve with our intensive, ‘in service’ and also practical workshops. The workshops last a total of 36 hours and they are conducted over 7 Saturdays in the year.

Our facilitators not only deal with the real life issues, but also tackle the subject based problems that they may experience in the classroom. This in turn helps the teachers with problems that are difficult to present to their students. In other words, we provide the teachers with a solid foundation from which to develop their teaching techniques.

Our programme is endorsed by the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

Workshops are presented by expert facilitators over 7 Saturdays in the year.


Teachers have access to the 2enable online platform for lesson  and assessment plans.


  • 656 ECD practitioners
  • 19 680 children
  •      Barloworld

  •      Department of Education

  •      2enable

Penreach Play Day

We experience the transformative power of play for young children on a daily basis, not only on play day but also at, preschools and homes across the region.

The Penreach Play Day is for the 3 to 4 year old age group. For the child, it is an opportunity to explore new ways of learning through play. It also exposes the ECD practitioners and the parents to new ideas and games. Furthermore, play allows children to express their views, their experiences and even their frustrations. The Play Day is about connecting within our communities. Besides the learning, play is also about fun, the smiles and laughter. Of course this is not only for the children but for the parents and the practitioners too.

With this in mind, we offer the children 20 different group games. The games highlight the importance of not only learning through play, but also the role of play in the development of the child. 

For that reason, ECD practitioners are trained to conduct the group play activities. For one thing the games support not only the cognitive skills of the children, but also their physical and their social development. Furthermore, it also allows children to use their creativity, thus developing their imagination and their emotional strength too. Playing is crucial to the brain development of a child. It is also through play that a child learns how to engage and how to interact with the world around them.

“Play is the highest form of research”. Albert Einstein

Children and practitioners rotate between 20
sponsored play areas, each with a focus on child development and, of course, having fun!

  • 2060 children
  • 140 practitioners
  • 140 parents
  • Buscor
  • Child Welfare White River

Home-based ECD

It has been noted that only 28% of children from the informal, the tribal and the rural areas, are able to attend any form of ECD Centre. In other words, their home is the only place where they receive an early learning stimulation. A child’s intellectual development is most strongly influenced by the home environment during infancy and early childhood. The consequence of not having the right stimulation at home, is that a child will not reach their full potential in the future. 

  • SmartStart
  • Playgroups
  • Caregiver training
  • Toy Library visits
  • Activity days

  • 243 children in Msholozi informal settlement
  • 50 households
  • 10 volunteers (Non-Centre Based Practitioners or NCBPs)


  • 68      Children in informal settlements
  • 16      Households
  • 16      Franchisees
  • SmartStart
  • FNB
  • Halls
  • Barloworld
  • Shalamuka Trust

Toy Libraries

Our experience in ECD, has highlighted the fact that, 80% of young children in our target communities, do not have access to toys. Moreover… this is whether the children attend an ECD centre or not.

Toys are an integral part of the development of a child. They are also a formative component of ECD. Furthermore, the children that play with toys engage in their physical and their mental activity. Thus they exercise their fine and also their gross motor skills. The toys not only help a child to discover balance but teaches them coordination too. A child also learns social skills when sharing toys with other children. 

Because of the need for toys, we launched the Penreach Asidlaleni Toy Library in 2015. As a result of the success of the project, it has now grown to a further 26 Toy Libraries by 2019.


  • Toy lending
  • Training of caregivers and community volunteers
  • Activity Days
  • 1312 children 
  • 12 Toy Libraries
  • FirstRand Foundation
  • Halls
  • Barloworld
  • Cotlands

Communities of Practice (CoP)

Our partner in establishing CoP ECD in Mpumalanga is BRIDGE.

In order to promote coordination in the sector the

BRIDGE National Early Childhood Development Community of Practice

aims to assist with the government’s goals. The goals are to implement the ECD strategies and their policies in a systematic way. This is achieved through collaboration with not only the civil society, but also informed by the real issues on the ground level.

“A community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a concern and a passion, for something they do. They learn how to do it better through regular interaction with others”.

  • Training and assistance for ECD Practitioner to use the BRIDGE Quality Toolkit, which is a self-reflection tool for ECD practitioners.
  • Direct the Mpumalanga-based discussion forums on ECD matters to assist in coordinating efforts in the province

NQF Training

The training at Penreach empowers the ECD practitioners with a recognised and a formal qualification. This also leads to the improvement of the development outcomes for the children. Furthermore, it also secures livelihoods for the women and the men who choose ECD as a career.

We are an accredited provider of the NQF Level 4 Qualification (ID 58761).

  • Formal, accredited qualification on an NQF Level 4.
  • 15 qualified practitioners


Aimed at giving young people an opportunity to gain work experience, YES is a collaboration between government, labour and the private sector. It is aimed at unemployed black South Africans aged 18 to 35 and gives them an entry point into a market which often demands experience as a prerequisite for a job.

This year, in collaboration with WILDTRUST and Nedbank, Penreach recruited and trained 100 candidates, allocating them into different Early Childhood Development Centres across Ehlanzeni District. The training received included practical office skills, personal and social development, and hands-on basic training on early childhood development. Read more about the programme here


To support any of these projects, contact Penreach via penreach@penryn.co.za

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za

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