I count my blessings every day and I continue to be grateful for my life and the life I am able to offer my daughter. There are so many less fortunate families in our country.
Madiba taught us the importance of education and the responsibility we have towards the children of our nation.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Mandela Day has passed and many of us did our annual 67 minutes for Mandela Day. Some of us are still doing the best we can to make the most of Mandela Month, by making a difference as best we can. Every contribution helps and our efforts and contributions are greatly appreciated.
Education is vital in securing the future of our nation and Early Childhood Development and Education is the first building block and stepping stone to a better tomorrow for each of our precious children.
We all have a role to play in securing the future of our children and our nation. How do we continue our work beyond Mandela Day and Mandela month? How do we become Citizen Parents?
I trust that you will enjoy our BrainBoosters feature today and that you will enter the competition on Friday in order to make a difference to education in your community.
Let’s continue the legacy which Madiba left us with …
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Being a Citizen Parent
It is Mandela month and this piece is a reflection on the state of the nation for all 6, 3 million children under the age of six in South Africa.
How does this impact you as a parent? It is one thing to know and engage with your own children and another to have concern for all our children. Unless we improve the lives of all children, we as a nation will not thrive. I call this being a CITIZEN parent. Caring for others, not just our own.
I have been involved in early childhood education for more than 30 years in South Africa. The change in this sector has been slow and fractured. The value of a child under 6 has often not been valued enough.
At last I now start to see some change happening. There are a number of reasons locally and globally for this change. Two major influences are the work coming out of great universities like Harvard and The Brookings Institute on how important the first few years are in the development of our human life. The second is the work of James Heckman, who won the Nobel Economics Laureate for proving that investing early in the life of a child brings a much higher investment long term for a nation than at any other time in a child’s life.
In December 2015 The National Integrated early Childhood Development Policy was approved by cabinet.
Here are the main key drivers for this sector in the development plan:
- We need to look at rural and urban programs differently to accommodate demographics.
- Children under three will have different programs than those that are 4-6
- Universal access to quality early childhood
- Two years of compulsory preschool for all children by 2030
- Working together for the health and education of our children
- Ensuring that there are enough trained teachers for this sector.
BrainBoosters is well positioned to meet many of these needs over the next few years and to work with government, community organisations and business to connect the dots and help bring this plan to life. It will be a long road but I do believe this is a great goal that we can hold on to as a Nation to help change the lives of our children and in so doing change the fabric of our society.
BrainBoosters has a number of programs to address the different needs.
The Parent Story boxes for parents at home or as a program in the workplace.
The Play & Learn range for Pre-schools.
The Baby Clinic range for Moms that are pregnant and visiting the clinic on a regular basis.
The Gr 1 programme used as English First Additional Language focusing on teaching mathematical concepts in English such as counting, shapes, addition subtraction etc.
How can you as a citizen parent address this challenge?
- If you have a helper in your home who is pregnant or has small children, why not invest in her children.
- If you are a business owner you can invest in a community crèche close to your office.
- As a community or church you can engage and support a pre-school in your community.
- As a business owner, why not sponsor the clinic program in a clinic near you.
- As a concerned citizen invite BrainBoosters to engage with you in your CSI program.
- Understand the needs in your rural community.
The challenges needed in this sector are huge. Public-private partnerships are key to unlocking potential and making a difference. We all have circles of influence and can make a difference in our world. Teaching our own children that we care and invest in others is a key life lesson that your own children will then portray. Our children need help now. Can you help? Together we change the lives of all children, one child, one parent, one community at a time.
Thank you Lynda Smith for this very inspiring article!
This month we are running a competition where you can enter and win BrainBoosters products and training to donate to a pre-school of your choice that needs helps. In that way we help you to be a Citizen parent and give back during Mandela month and beyond.
Please visit www.momentsbydjzinhle.com on Friday 29 July to enter the competition.
Thank you BrainBoosters for this generous Competition Prize and for the work that you are doing in Early Childhood Education.