WHAT IS BLOCKS4GROWTH?
Blocks4Growth is a quality ECD programme developed to promote holistic growth within 4-5 year old children to better prepare them for formal schooling. The programme has three target areas namely the children, practitioners (teachers) and parents.
All 4-5 year old children at the preselected Early Childhood Development Centres are screened on their development, hearing and vision.
The children identified to be ‘at risk’ of developmental delays receive therapy throughout the year in fun, interactive group sessions. A therapist and facilitator work with the children twice a week, at their creche. Groups consists of a maximum of 9 children and run over 45 minutes. The focus is on holistic growth and sessions explore vital areas of early childhood development such as, and not limited to,
emergent literacy and numeracy
executive functioning stimulation
socio-emotional exploration, as well as
Children who have been identified with severe developmental delays, psycho-social or medical concerns are referred to relevant government or non-profit organisations within the community for specialised and appropriate treatment. This ensures early intervention and changes the trajectory of the children’s life.
Parent’s are encouraged to be actively involved in the development of their child. Homework tasks are sent home after each group session, motivating parents to practice certain skills at home with their child. This promotes parent engagement and involvement. Parents and the therapist can also communicate directly and regularly with each other through the homework book.
Parents are invited to observe a therapy session once a term, where they have the opportunity to learn first-hand from a therapist how to engage effectively with their child. Parent workshops are also offered in partnership with The Reach Trust. Parents are provided with practical skills and ideas to stimulate their children in a cost-effective, fun and interactive manner. Parents receive educational packs and have the opportunity to download the CareUp application which provides additional resources
Practitioners attend weekly coaching sessions with a therapist, learning techniques that promote a healthy learning environment. The practitioner receives practical activities, and the therapist educates and guides the practitioner on the skills targeted by each activity. Each practitioner session is aimed to reinforce the skills learnt during the therapy group and will expose additional learners in the classroom to therapeutic input. A platform is also created for the practitioner to receive guidance and advice from a therapist about specific child-related concerns or difficulties they are facing in the classroom. Practitioners are upskilled and empowered to ensure effective teaching methods, with empathy and knowledge of the children’s specific, individual needs.
We focus on enriching the lives of all our beneficiaries by offering support, developing their strengths, transferring skills and changing the culture of education in the creche, home and community at large.
The Learning Initiative (TLI) has carefully and specifically developed the Blocks4Growth programme which focuses on the concept of early stimulation in ECD in a holistic, effective and efficient manner.
TLI has proudly developed the Blocks4Growth programme based on:
therapist’s interaction with the children, in small groups, within their own learning environment,
direct contact and daily feedback from the children, parents and practitioners,
appropriate activities according to the developmental stage and needs of learners.
The programme is:
developed by a multi-disciplinary team of Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists
aligned with the national curriculum framework and developmental milestones
graded according to group or individual needs
developed to be cost-effective, sustainable and scalable
tried and tested and proven to significantly increase children’s developmental outcomes.
We firmly believe that B4G equips young children in poor communities with the tools, techniques, enthusiasm and resilience that they need in order to thrive in school.
WHO RUNS BLOCKS4GROWTH?
We have 9 teams dedicated to the B4G programme. Each team consists of 1 therapist (Occupational Therapist or Speech and Language Therapist)+ 1 facilitator. View them here.
Communities we are involved in, include: Firgrove, Fisantekraal, Klapmuts, Macassar, Masiphumelele, Mitchell’s Plain, Raithby, Vrygrond, Cloetesville, Idas Valley, Grassy Park and West Lake.
AREAS OF OPERATION
TLI is based in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town but offers services to communities throughout the Cape Metro. Communities that have been receiving the B4G intervention include Mitchell’s Plain, Masiphumelele, West Lake, Vrygrond, Grassy Park, Fisantekraal, Klapmuts, Macassar, Cloetesville, Philippi and Khayelitsha.
B4G is also being successfully out-scaled in Knysna and surrounds through The Knynsa Education Trust (KET).
“We’d like to thank the departments and organisations who have funded and partnered with the Blocks4Growth programme to allow The Learning Initiative to have a hand in assisting and ensuring that our young children grow to their full potential consistent with their rights and needs as a child.”
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