ECD Centres of Excellence
The concept of ECD Centres of Excellence is the basis of Ntataise’s overall approach to building quality in ECD. In addition to the accredited training programmes, a number of developmental and supplementary services are offered. These are provided to training partners and to ECD sites and centres in different ways according to context. This cluster of offerings includes the following.
- Assistance with governance and regulatory requirements, such as support for partial care registration. Registration of centres is linked to financial support, which promotes the sustainability of the centre/programme.
- Assistance for supervisors, principals or managers to deal with areas which they find difficult, such as financial management, good governance and human resource management. This is carried out through workshops.
- Mentorship opportunities in various forms.
- Empowerment of practitioners through communities of practice where they can share resources, observe each other’s centres in action, offer peer-learning and support, and engage in self-reflection and continuous learning in non-judgemental and collaborative ways.
- Enrichment programmes to improve learning in the playroom for children in community and home-based ECD centres, by building on the knowledge and skills gained by practitioners during training. Practitioners may have the theory from the training but often do not have the practical know-how or equipment to ensure good quality, consistent daily learning programmes which will prepare children for the demands of formal education. These programmes may take the form of:
- Monthly workshops to help practitioners create a more stimulating learning environment in terms of materials and equipment, including educational toys and books which encourage early literacy and numeracy.
- Regular on-site demonstration visits to show practitioners how to provide a wider variety of activities, and to demonstrate interactive teaching methods that facilitate learning through appropriate questioning, supporting and extending children’s ideas.
In addition, Ntataise shares the “Centres of Excellence Enrichment Toolkit” which is aligned with the National Curriculum Framework for Birth to Four, and provides learning resources and activities with an emphasis on early literacy and numeracy.