Cotlands’ early learning playgroups

Just meeting the physical, emotional and nutritional needs of a child during the early years can be overwhelming for any parent/primary caregiver, often resulting in cognitive stimulation being ignored. Cotlands facilitates age-appropriate early learning playgroups in vulnerable communities in two age categories: birth to two-year-olds and two to four-year-olds.

This high-impact two hour programme is delivered once a week. It focuses on the first two years and capitalises on this crucial window of opportunity in the child’s life. Mothers or primary caregivers are required to attend the group with their baby.    
The birth to two-year-old playgroup programme provides primary caregivers with:

  • an additional opportunity to bond with their baby;
  • techniques to activate the child’s senses through touch;
  • information on developmental milestones and their importance;
  • ideas on how to stimulate their babies;
  • support and counselling;
  • parent education sharing important information that relates to baby care; and
  • ideas on how to make improvised toys that can be used at home.
The two to four-year-old playgroup provides children access to early learning opportunities through play. Our programmes are based on best practice principles ensuring the holistic development of the children we serve while providing them with a nutritious meal at every session as well.

The early learning playgroups are not intended to provide full day care but rather to offer high impact early learning opportunities where specific literacy skills and mathematic concepts are introduced, explored and discovered through play. A year plan consisting of 26 learning plans, each indicating key concepts to be explored with the children, guide the playgroup facilitator’s interaction on a weekly basis. Every learning plan details play-based learning activities, lists resources needed and includes a monitoring checklist.

Each four-hour session is structured around a routine, creating learning and play opportunities that develop each child’s abilities in:

  • language;
  • mathematics;
  • gross motor skills;
  • fine motor skills;
  • social skills; and
  • emotional skills.