73 early childhood development (ECD) centres in Nelson Mandela Bay’s developing communities that received intervention from Early Inspiration across 2016/17 reflected an average of 15% improvement in terms of centre compliance at post-assessment.
“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,” remarks 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.”
- attended a range of training modules
- received on-site visits
- had extensive evaluations
- mentorship sessions in their ECD centre
- and completed a portfolio of evidence which includes formative and summative assessment tasks, testing knowledge and understanding, as well as implementation of the skills learnt.
Early Inspiration’s intervention across Nelson Mandela Bay provided support and capacitation of ECD Centre principals and practitioners to keep them up to date on trends, strategies, policies and new opportunities for professional development.
Class and child assessments
Work didn’t just end with assessing ECD centres. Early Inspiration evaluated children who attend the schools whose teachers participated in the programme to measure the development and direct benefits of the intervention. “We used a control group as a comparison mechanism, so we have a benchmark to compare the ‘norm’ vs. Early Inspiration impacted-centres,” adds Dr Stretch. “Provincially, the greatest element of growth in child during the course of the year for the children under the care of programme educators, 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.”
Home visit support programme
Through the child assessments, at-risk children were identified to provide one-on-one interventions which are child-specific and meets 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. This intervention provides additional support and offers parents training and development which aids their children. “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,” says Dr Stretch. Post-programme, the children who were at risk, made significant improvements with 79% of the children scoring between 81 and 100% at post-assessment.
Author: Kimberley Clare Ogden
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