A little learner at Scatterlings. (Photo: Supplied)
Balfour Mall in Johannesburg has made some of its retail space available and funded the development of an early childhood development centre, named Scatterlings.
The centre, which caters to the needs of pre-primary school children in the community, already has 44 little learners. According to childhood development research, the first three years of a child’s life is when 50% of their intellect is developed, with a further 25% being developed by the age of six years.
During these crucial early years, 80% of brain cells form connections in response to external stimulation. It is these connections which contribute to the overall Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of the child.
This means that parents and other caregivers have only six years in which to develop the full potential of children in their care.
The almost 450 metre-squared Scatterlings creche at Balfour Mall has been thoughtfully designed to create a safe environment where the youngsters can learn and grow.
The new centre includes naturally-lit play areas, rest spaces, learning facilities, educational toys, and dedicated bathrooms, all serviced by a team of dedicated teachers and caregivers.
The children also receive a healthy lunch and refreshments on a daily basis.
Little learners in their colourful Scatterlings calssroom. (Photo: Supplied)
Scatterlings is run by a non-profit organisation that started in response to the need to cater to the early development stages of young South African children.
Today, over 500 creches use their award-winning curriculum and learning programme that understands the importance of mental, emotional and social development.
Teacher training includes recognising and identifying learning difficulties and special needs, health and safety, and various forms of assessment.
“We are honoured to have had the support of Investec Property Fund to bring to life a quality ECD centre in the Balfour Mall. Investec’s team were passionate, professional and committed,” says Theresa Aaronson, Founder and CEO of Scatterlings. “The Scatterlings ECD Centre in Balfour Mall would not have been possible without Investec,” she concluded.
“Contributing to improving quality of life in South Africa is at the heart of our retail property business,” said Jenna Sprenger, CFO Investec Property Fund. “With education being so fundamental to empowering people and shaping society, we are pleased that we could contribute to fulfilling this need with this exciting project,” she added.
While the Scatterlings at Balfour aims to accommodate 70 learners this year, the facility has capacity to increase that number in years to come.