- Grassroots Playgroups
Grassroots’ Playgroups fill a vital gap for children who are far from a formally established ECD Centre / Preschool. Our Playgroups therefore operate in informal settlements, on remote farming areas and in small rural villages. Grassroots maintains over 400 Playgroups throughout the Western Cape. Our support comprises training the playgroup hosts (‘the playgroup leader’) to serve as effective teachers, assisting the playgroup host to prepare a room or a section of her home for the children to play, raising funds for a food stipend to ensure that a balanced meal is available for the children every day and to cover partially the utility bills of the playgroup host. Grassroots also makes available local playgroup mentors to visit the playgroup regularly to support the implementation of a good ECD programme.
- ECD Centre Development
We currently work with over 2000 preschool centers with the aim of getting them registered and eligible for state subsidization. Every week we add between 3 an 5 new preschools as beneficiaries of vital state subsidisation.
This process is very intensive as we need to ensure that each preschool is safe, delivers a sound classroom programme and complies with state requirements in terms of accounting for funds received.
- Site Learning Programme (SLP)
The Grassroots Site Learning Programme (SLP) provides preschools with a detailed daily programme that is registered by the Western Cape Education Department. The uniqueness of our SLP is that we produced it through a truly participative process, over several years. Every preschool in the province forms part of our SLP workshops where we develop and maintain the various components of the daily classroom programme. That makes the Grassroots programme expressive of the culture and the values of South Africans of all persuasions.
- The Grassroots Preschool Shop
In our preschool shop, we stock locally manufactured and other sourced toys and equipment that complement the classroom programme. We source whatever a preschool or playgroup requires and supplies it at a reasonable price. We also offer training and support where needed in the use of equipment.
- ECD Governance Support
We offer training sessions to newly established or newly appointed governing body members to ensure that preschools are well-run and compliant with funder and government management requirements. Our training includes teaching them what their roles as governors entail, how the finances should run their finances and how the center can become financially self-sustainable.
- Teacher Training
As a registered training provider with the South African Qualifications Authority, Grassroots has been able to support thousands of adults who work with children to acquire a national qualification in the field of Early Childhood Development.(ECD). We teach towards the National ECD Diploma as well as the National ECD Certificate. Hundreds of women have been able to access a career path and being able to pursue a fulfilling and rewarding career in ECD.
- ECD Assistants (Cadet Scheme)
The Expanded Public Works (EPWP) is a national governmental programme that allows for an ECD Cadet Scheme. Grassroots plays a pivotal role in this national government initiative to groom young adults for service within the early childhood development (ECD) sector. Annually we take in hundreds of new ECD Assistants (young cadets) who we then place at numerous ECD insitutions including NGOs, ECD preschools and other facilities. Grassroots acts as the employer for these hundreds of ECD Assistants – guiding them and grooming them towards a career in community service or public service.
- Assessment of ECD Interventions (ASB)
The Assessment for School Beginners (ASB) is a tool which was designed to monitor whether the different programmes were effective or needed change, If so, then this was addressed through extra workshops. In so doing, we could see that much more development needs to be done with parents and the children, who come from different challenged backgrounds.
- The Adventure Bus
With the support of the Golden Arrow Bus company and drivers employed by the company, approximately 15000 children are
taken on educational outings every year. We at Grassroots co-ordinate these outings with the Golden Arrow Bus company and ECD projects throughout the City of Cape Town. We are happy to report that we have never had one bad incident over the years. Drivers always volunteer and we have never had an outing cancelled due to a lack of volunteerism! Keep in mind that the drivers come off a shift and then take the children out as an unpaid extra work shift. Our hero bus drivers tell us that it’s a pleasure to go out with the children. They feel special and honoured that they can contribute to society in this way.