Early Childhood Development



There is a serious shortage of early learning centres in the rural Transkei. Young children have limited opportunities to be stimulated emotionally or intellectually, while their social needs are often not met and their nutritional intake is very poor. Most children in the area enter the first year of school with little or no skills and limited experience of learning or problem solving. Many children enter grade one with stunted physical growth and development, and this sets the tone for the rest of their school career. Without positive influence and proper support in the early years, rural children who are deprived from the outset are much more likely to suffer in the long term.

TransCape started the Early Childhood Development (ECD) program in 2007 and has developed a holistic rural curriculum which serves children in Mankosi Community. The school currently serves 55 students aged three to six at the main facility and started to support other preschools in the area. The teachers in Mdumbi are trained at level 5 and 6 of early childhood development education.

The Mdumbi Preschool follows a daily learning schedule from 8:00-12:30 that includes:

  • Fine motor, spatial noticing, puzzles and language development
  • Songs, rhymes, circle greetings
  • Phonological awareness (rhymes, rhythms, pre-reading)
  • Life skills
  • Reading and language arts (letter study, story study, name study)
  • Outdoor play (gross motor development and games)
  • Mathematics
  • Writing workshop
  • Arts, crafts, fantasy play, block building and other play

All children receive a portion of porridge for breakfast and a nutritional, healthy lunch. Children also brush their teeth, wash their hands and learn to use a toilet.