Facilitating Quality ECD Programmes

Learning Groups are the heart of ensuring quality programmes at Impande. Since 2014 the Learning Groups in UGU District have provided a mechanism for ECD teachers to come together to motivate each other, learn new skills and practice implementation.  

In 2023 Impande aim to start learning groups in Winnie-Madikizela Mandela, Nthabankhulu and Umzimvubu municipalities in Alfred-Nzo District in Eastern Cape as well as Umzimkhulu and Ubuhlebezwe municipalities in Harry-Gwala District Kwa-Zulu Natal. We will be targetting ECD centres that we are supporting through the Social Employment Fund and will be helping them with programme implementation. The learning groups will focus on 4 main areas:

1. Playroom focuses on the layout and configuration of the space, easy access to resources and displays that provide a clear purpose and are inviting.

2. ECD Programme includes routines, group work, free play, working in small groups as well as developing and following a daily programme.

3. Activities focus on being able to provide a wide range of activities for various developmental domains. Aside from the standard early maths, language, problem solving and independence, activities around music and rhythm, art, pretend play and physical stimulation are also encouraged. 

4. Practice delves into the manner in which the ECD practitioners carry out the above. Good  communication, play, safety, supervision, discipline, open ended questions and social and emotional support are encouraged.  

Since first introducing the Learning Groups in UGU District we have refined our approach in order to respond to the needs on the ground. It is therefore time to move the learning groups on to the next stage in UGU District. During 2023 Impande will be supporting ECD teachers to take over facilitation of the groups. We will also roll out a third level of support in Ugu by offering ECD centers an opportunity to participate in our mentorship programme.  


In 2022 we piloted a mentoring programme alongside the Learning Groups in which 4 ECD centres in UGU were selected to participate. One of the ways in which we evaluated the pilot was programme assessments based on classroom observations. We are also tracking Early Learning Outcome Measures (ELOM) results and will continue to do so in 2023. The 2022 pre and post programme assessments highlight the invaluable impact gained through a more intense style of mentoring. This confirms the testimony by our mentor, Nosipho, of how the mentoring is resulting in better ECD programmes being run.

Click on the link below to view the pre and post assessments for the mentoring programme.

At the end of 2022 teachers were encouraged to facilitate ECD awareness sessions with parents during the graduation ceremonies. The team visited some of the graduations where the teachers had taken the opportunity to explain to parents about the ECD programme and demonstrated activities they had been doing with the children.

In addition to the support provided through learning groups and mentoring we have found that the books, play boxes, basic toy boxes and additional classroom resources that were provided in 2022 have made a huge difference in enhancing children’s learning environments and supporting improved ECD programme quality.

Thank you to Solon Foundation, Impande Norway, Impande UK, Care for Education and Bookdash for your continued support.


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Your investment can help us to give children in rural South Africa a fair start in life. You can give a general support donation or donate to one of these specific projects:

  • ECD Infrastructure
  • Playgrounds
  • ECD helpdesk

Covid-19 update

We need your help

We are currently working to support ECD centres to comply with the process set out by DSD for reopening but we need your help.  Centres urgently need water tanks, cleaning materials and personal protective equipment (PPE). Partner with us or make a contribution to reach ECD centres that do not have any water source and those who are not funded by government.

Network and Helpdesk

It is possible to improve access and quality of ECD when communities, government and the private sector work together


·         Facilitate municipal ECD Network meetings to support flow of information between grassroots ECD services, government and stakeholders 

·         Provide a help desk to assist ECD centres with registration and compliance to improve child protection and access to government subsidies.