When you see two children huddled together with their play dough; what do you see? Do you see two children playing, or do you see two children learning? We see learning.
Because even though formal school only starts at age six, learning starts way before this. It starts at birth. The first 1 000 days of a child’s life is a period of rapid development. If the child doesn’t receive the right input and support, their development will start to lag – and it’s very difficult and costly to help them catch up later.
Children who don’t receive early learning opportunities in this phase are also more likely to become frustrated with classroom learning, often leading to a higher school drop-out rate. But this can all be avoided by giving vulnerable children access to early learning opportunities, such as Cotlands’ toy libraries and playgroups. Increasing access to early childhood development will help level the playing field between the rich and poor – and will create a more equal and prosperous South Africa. The future starts now – and it starts with early learning!