It is well documented that young children living in disadvantaged communities have limited or no access to early learning opportunities. When these children are due to start school, they are already behind in their educational development and lack the fundamental skills needed to learn to read and write, which impacts negatively on their whole learning experience. Although they are forced to repeat school years they still do not successfully close their developmental gaps. These young people cannot achieve their academic potential and often leave school prematurely. Without the necessary education their opportunities are limited, resulting in unemployed or under-employed young adults, struggling to earn an income and unable to lift themselves out of poverty. This in turn has broader societal consequences.
To address this need, Cotlands developed and implements an innovative, non-centre-bases ECD service that increases access to early learning opportunities. Our programmes are based on best-practice principles, ensuring the holistic development of each of the children we serve. Each play session is structured around a routine, creating learning and play opportunities that develop children’s language, mathematical, problem-solving, gross motor, fine motor as well as social and emotional skills.
We realize it is a long term, generational goal, but if we can start to improve children’s school performance now by better preparing them for formal schooling, we will eventually start to see communities transforming as they produce better educated youth with higher employment and earning potential.
- Cotlands toy libraries and playgroups create early learning opportunities to thousands of children who otherwise would not have any access to this critical service.