The first five years in a child's life are crucial in shaping their future. Many countries do not have a nationwide preschool system in place, which leaves many children at a disadvantage when it comes time for them to enroll in primary school. Planet Aid has helped bolster the development of young children through preschool initiatives.
Preschools of the Future Movement
There is an increasing need for quality and affordable preschool education for South African children from disadvantaged backgrounds, aged two to five. Planet Aid's sister organization Humana People to People South Africa is working to open preschools for these populations through the Preschools of the Future (POF) Movement.
Working with the national Community of Practice, a forum made up of various organizations and institutions involved in ECD, the POF movement was able to remain abreast of all regulatory frameworks and trends. A preschool in Mangangeni is already serving local families, and more sites are being scouted in targeted communities for additional schools.
70 Preschools in Maputo
The 70 Preschools in Maputo is a two-and-a-half-year pilot project financed by World Bank and implemented by Planet Aid's partner ADPP Mozambique and the Mozambique Ministry of Education in two districts in the Maputo Province: Boane and Manhiça. The project is part of a larger pilot initiative implemented simultaneously by various agencies in five provinces across the country.
The main objective of the 70 Preschools in Maputo project is to strengthen the capacity of rural families and communities, and to promote the holistic development of children under six years of age through the provision of community-based early childhood development (ECD) services. The project accomplishes this by raising awareness among parents and community members about the importance of early investments in child development and healthcare for the healthy growth and development of their children.
By building 70 preschools, training the teachers and facilitators, and engaging local communities in participating in the ECD initiatives, the project contributes to laying a foundation for community-based ECD services and provides a model that can be replicated across the country.
The project is based on the government strategy for the integrated development of preschool children, which aims to promote ECD among children under six years of age and prepare them for enrolling in primary education, thereby improving their academic performance and overall quality of life.