Local ECD groups join hands

Early childhood development groups in Nelson Mandela Bay need to bridge the communication gap and support each other rather than duplicate their efforts.

This was one of several points raised at a networking and capacity building session last week held by Port Elizabeth ECD organisation Early Inspiration, with 40 representatives from private and government institutions attending.

Early Inspiration, hosting the session over several hours at Bridge Street Brewery, managing director Dr Lauren Stretch said the day’s goal was to get together the organisations in the metro which worked in early childhood development.

“We wanted to put in place a work group, or network, where we know what one another are up to and are able to provide support going forward to empower and equip the children of our city,” said Stretch.

She hoped that the day would lead to establishing a “community of practice”, defined as a group of people who share a concern or passion for what they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Representatives from schools, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, educational foundations and childcare centres in the Bay, as well as from Peddie and Cookhouse, discussed issues in five focus areas: ý Communication; ý Parent support; ý Opportunities for learning; ý Social protection, and ý Health and nutrition. Groups then discussed what was being done in those areas, and identified gaps in services before looking at what a united group might be able to help or improve on collectively.

Stretch said the group planned to map the way ahead and was open to including more “spaces” or organisations at future meetings.

Inquiries: Early Inspiration at lauren@earlyinspiration.co.za or (041) 373-0884.