Showing our appreciation

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

South Africa will honour its finest nurturers of the nation's future leaders at the end of this month.

Five powerful nation-building partners - Absa, Sowetan, the Department of Education, SABC Education, Office of the Rights in the Presidency and the South African Congress for Early Childhood Development - will represent the nation in recognising, acknowledging and rewarding the creativity, dedication, passion and compassion exuded by these nurturers.

These are early childhood development (ECD) practitioners, commonly known as teachers or caregivers at creches or kindergartens; home-based and community-based ECD centres, creches or kindergartens and organisations providing ECD learning and teaching resources, and providing ECD education and training for practitioners and managers of ECD centres.

These special people will be awarded kudos for being 2008's best ECD practitioners, home-based and community-based ECD centres; and the best ECD resources and training providers or organisations.

Two judging sessions will be held over two days on August 26 and 27. The winners will be announced on August 28.

This nation-building partnership is:

lExposing, recognising, acknowledging, rewarding and developing accredited, qualified practitioners and encouraging properly-registered ECD centres to help create a highly skilled and motivated ECD movement;

lPromoting and recognising the excellence, hard work, dedication and investment in the future of our children by ECD practitioners, centres and organisations involved in the ECD sector;

lContributing to the child's development by enhancing the preaching and practicing of good ECD values and culture relating to children's health, nutrition, education, emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological development - as well as encouraging parental involvement in ECD.

In Limpopo the winners are:

lECD practitioners: Refilwe Maponya, Susan Matlou and Tsakani Seroto;

lCommunity-based ECD centres: Bright Mbokota Pre-School, Bright Morning Star Nursery and Madal Community Creche;

lHome-based ECD centre - Shiny Stars Pre-School; and

lECD resources and training organisations - Thusanang Trust and Golang Kulang Early Learning Centre.

In Gauteng the winners are:

l ECD practitioners - Puleng Miya, Pauline Thwala and Emily Matamela;

l Community-based centres - Thabong Creche, Boitumelo DCC and Pre-School, Boithabising DCC;

l Home-based ECD centres - Thanduxolo DCC, Matsheko Early Learning Centre and Itumeleng Early DCC; and

l ECD resources and training organisations - ASHA Training and Development, Greater Soweto Association for ECD and Katlehong RTO.