A lift for early learning | Grow Educare CSI
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Getting help to very low-income early childhood development (ECD) centres, GROW Educare is using tech and subsidised loans to raise education standards for all.
Scaling up over the next three years to reach even more Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa, GROW Educare is harnessing technology to expand access to teaching materials. Thanks to MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet funding to the tune of R1.7m, very low income ECD centres will now be able to access affordable loans to invest in GROW’s daily programme and comprehensive educational equipment kit.
This latest fund uplift will see 75% of the costs of these kits fully subsidised, ensuring equal access for very low income ECD centres to vital educational resources. It will also provide these centres with at least two on-site mentoring sessions and data-free access to online training.
Five steps to 5-STAR
GROW Educare’s vision is to bring 5-star early learning to every neighbourhood to unlock human potential. Using its proven recipe for success — that equips local women to run professional, high-quality ECD centres in under-resourced neighbourhoods — its impact is growing thanks to a new custom built technology platform.
GROW’s ‘5 Steps to 5 Star Model’ was launched in 2021 to give all ECDs (and support organisations) the tools, technology, resources they need to reach the 5 star quality standard. Knowing that ECDs are at different stages of development, a stepped model ensures franchisees can access the right tools and resources (including affordable finance) at the right time.
Through its fully-integrated GROW App and online training, franchisees can access resources and training, manage their centre from a cell phone, and provide GROW with access to real time data to help monitor quality and assess impact (exposed as a key blind spot during COVID).
Scaling up with GROW Educare
Set up in 2014, GROW has 45 centres that operate under its established franchise model — with capacity to educate 2000 children daily, providing them with all the processes and resources a centre owner needs to run a high quality, professional centre.
And it’s working. A recent Impact Report showed that 88% of children are achieving their milestones and 81% of schools are at the target fees for financial sustainability.
About Grow Educare Centres
As GROW drives new and improved standards in the ECD sector, technology will also help develop rewards systems that motivate data-gathering tasks (such as daily attendance, learner assessments, online training) backed by well-planned incentives to drive new behaviours.
The next phase will see further expansion. In line with its goals to ensure learners are developmentally on track (and teachers are competent and trained), the plan is to reach 5250 ECD centres over the next three years. Through these ECDs, 14 000 more teachers will receive more training and resources to improve learning quality for 681 000 children.