Starting Chance is a non-profit Public Benefit Organisation (NPO No: 164-217 NPO) that is passionate about education.
We focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD) because investment in providing children aged 0 to 6 years with an excellent starting chance in their education has been shown to produce lifetime benefit.
Providing a school building alone does not create a quality early learning environment – what happens in the classroom makes the real difference to a child’s future. For this reason we take a holistic approach, focusing strongly on enterprise development and skills transfer to principals and their team. We deploy highly experienced, well-qualified early childhood fieldworkers to provide intensive in-service coaching and mentoring.
The impact and benefit of taking an integrated approach aimed at deep transformation of the educares participating in our programme has been independently recognised during 2017. The Mfuleni Centre for Early Childhood Development was rated to be one of the top 10 Early Childhood Centres in the informal Western Cape sector. The quality of the learning environments created was further recognised when Nozipho Ralarala, at Blooming Stars Educare, was selected to be the top Western Cape ECD practitioner in the informal sector and Virginia Maqokolo at the Mfuleni Centre for Early Childhood Development was runner-up. Nozipho went on to represent the province in Johannesburg at the national competition.
Social Development Strategy and Objectives for the next 3 Years
The over-arching goal of Starting Chance is to create high-quality early learning environments that provide 0 to 6 year-olds with an excellent introduction to their Foundation Phase education. To achieve this goal we work with South African women entrepreneurs, providing early childhood services to help them to build and manage a sustainable enterprise.
The educares we support typically range in size from 40 to 200 children. Through the development of these enterprises we create employment opportunities in the community and also make it possible for parents to work, knowing that their children are not only safe and secure but also receiving a stimulating education that will prepare them for school.
The Starting Chance education team has several years of experience in designing and delivering a range of support to educares in Mfuleni. The lessons learned are applied to shape our strategy going forward.
In the tough economic conditions that currently prevail we are working towards a strategy to integrate proven best practices from early childhood interventions to assist poor communities around the world into our model. In this way we aim to maximise the impact of our programme across the full spectrum of child development stages to maximise the medium- to long-term benefits derived from investment by our donors.
Our current social development objectives are:
- To enable the registration of the eight educares participating in the full Starting Chance programme;
- Secure access to government subsidies for pre-Grade R and Grade R children attending the participating educares;
- To upgrade the Lonwabo Special Needs Day Centre so that the facility meets all registration requirements enabling full access to applicable subsidies;
- To enable principals of participating educares to appropriately recognise and reward their education and support staff in order to build a motivated team with minimal staff turnover;
- To integrate a primary child healthcare clinic into the Lonwabo development to serve the needs of young children in Mfuleni.
- To continue improvement of the Starting Chance Professional Development Programme for principals and senior teachers to transfer leadership and managerial knowledge and skills to community-based women leaders;
- To increase the reach and impact of the fieldworker team to improve early learning environments in educares attending all forms of Starting Chance training and development;
- To increase parent engagement and improve child support in the home environment;
- To expand in-service coaching and mentoring to improve the learning environments for children in their “earliest years” (aged 0 to 3);
- To increase the impact and reach of computer training provided to principals and teachers in Starting Chance computer centres in supported Mfuleni educares;
- To offer parents the opportunity to receive computer training in Starting Chance computer centres located in supported Mfuleni educares.
Child Health & Nutrition
- To improve primary healthcare of children across all educares linked to the Starting Chance Programme in Mfuleni;
- To continue to improve nutrition at participating educares
- Child School Readiness (Evaluation and Monitoring Process Development)
- To implement a programme to monitor children’s progress as they enter mainstream schooling to determine the medium- to long-term impact and benefit delivered by Starting Chance, and identify programme improvement opportunities.
100% black beneficiaries, including women entrepreneurs who own and operate early childhood facilities and/or special needs day care facilities in Mfuleni.