As 2016 draws to a close, Cotlands is bidding farewell to 928 children who attended our playgroups programme across South Africa as they get ready to enter Grade R next year.
These children are part of the total 11 363 reached with Cotlands' play-based early childhood development (ECD) programmes in six provinces in the year 2015/16.
All our graduates were presented with certificates for attending Cotlands playgroups, which are designed to give vulnerable children access to holistic learning that develops their language, mathematics and problem solving skills.
Cotlands chief executive officer, Jackie Schoeman described the children's milestone as an inspiration for the organisation to strive to reach more children in poor communities who are at risk of not developing to their full potential and face a bleak future later in their school life.
As part of the children's preparation for Grade R, the Cotlands play-based programme also includes development of gross and fine motor skills, as well as social and emotional skills.
Schoeman said: "The early learning playgroup programme, supported by our toy Libraries, is hosted in community halls, containers, garages, and even in shacks."
"However, the value they add in the children's lives is invaluable. We wish all our graduates well as they embark on their formal school journey. ," she said.
The playgroup programme graduates, who are armed with solid foundation phase skills, are expected to start Grade R in provinces that include the Eastern Cape (37), Gauteng (86), Mpumalanga (120), North West (433), Western Cape (117) and KwaZulu Natal (135).