Early Inspiration makes a change in NMB youth education

2017-07-05 06:01
Early Inspiration changed the lives of the learners at the Ikamva Day Care Centre in Walmer Township. Photo:SUPPLIED

Early Inspiration changed the lives of the learners at the Ikamva Day Care Centre in Walmer Township. Photo:SUPPLIED

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RESEARCH showed that 73 early childhood development (ECD) centres in Nelson Mandela Bay’s developing communities that received intervention from Early Inspiration during 2016/17 reflected an average of 15% improvement in terms of centre compliance.

“A total of 124 passionate, dedicated practitioners from Nelson Mandela Bay, that work or volunteer in ECD centres and grade R classrooms, took part in our level two skills programme,” said Early Inspiration MD, Dr Lauren Stretch.

“Each underwent a stringent selection process and participated in a holistic programme to improve their skills to improve the development of children under their care.”

Each trainee attended a range of training modules, received on-site visits, had extensive evaluations and mentorship sessions in their ECD centre; and completed a portfolio of evidence which includes formative and summative assessment tasks, testing know-ledge and understanding, as well as implementation of the skills learnt.

Early Inspiration, a project of the non-profit organisation (NPO) KICK, is dedicated to enhancing young children’s intellectual development.

They provided support and capacitation of ECD Centre principals and practitioners across Nelson Mandela Bay to keep them up to date on trends, strategies, policies and new opportunities for professional development.

Early Inspiration also evaluated children attending the schools whose teachers participated in the programme to measure the development and direct benefits of the intervention.

“Provincially, the greatest element of growth in children under the care of programme educators during the course of the year, was cognitive development. The results are a great reflection of the improvement in the development of the brain and an accurate reflection of the remarkable impact that quality, intentional intervention can have on young children.”

Through the child assessments, at-risk children were identified to provide one-on-one interventions which are child-specific and meet the identified need. Home visits adopt a non-centre- based approach to intervention where education not only happens in the ECD centre, but also that parents are capacitated on understanding their children’s brain growth, needs and way of learning.

“The six-month home visit programme focusses on one-on-one support and stimulation to assist children in becoming developmentally appropriate and achieve age-related goals,” said Stretch.

The children who were at risk made significant improvements where 79% of the children scored between 81% and 100% post-assessment.

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