This week the early childhood development (ECD) spotlight falls on Tree, the reigning champion in the best resource and training organisation category of the yearly Absa and Sowetan ECD Awards.
Tree - its full name is Training and Resources in Early Education - was launched in 1984 as a nonprofit ECD resource and training organisation. It offers:
lTraining to ECD practitioners in ECD core unit standards at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Levels 1, 4 and 5, with the qualifying practitioner being awarded University of South Africa-accredited certificates.
lTraining in ECD site management, reception year (Grade R) teaching, baby and childcare, parenting, toy making and appropriate paper technology to make toys and educational equipment from waste.
Tree trains about 3000 people annually, and its leader Pam Picken, pictured, said this week that "it is estimated that the people we train affect 80000 children a year".
She said Tree was contracted to the KwaZulu-Natal education department as major service provider to train the bulk of the ECD practitioners for the national reception year pilot project and ECD field advisers.
"Tree's areas of operation are in all eight education regions of KwaZulu-Natal and the adjacent areas of Eastern Cape," she said.
Tree has a head office in Briardene in Durban, regional training centres in Port Shepstone, Ladysmith, Pietermaritzburg and Empangeni and uses other venues.