The vision of the First Children programme is a society in which all children are cared for, and adults are empowered to participate to their full potential.
Society needs active citizens who can think independently, have empathy for others and a strong sense of individual responsibility. Adults who work in Early Childhood Development (ECD) play a vital role in enabling children to develop these characteristics.
The objectives of the First Children Programme are to:
Start and stabilize preschools, increasing the resilience and number of ECD facilities in marginalised areas.
Undertake formal training of ECD practitioners, strengthening the pipeline and capacity of ECD teachers and trainers in the South African education system.
Develop and support parents, ECD mentors, classroom assistants and teachers, ensuring that local women benefit from training and capacity development.
First Children is a programme developed by the Auburn House Trust, grown out of a small team’s dedication to ECD through the Montessori philosophy over the last 30 years. The programme runs mainly in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa.
The team provides Montessori trainees (teachers and classroom assistants in ECD centres) with study support – vital for those who are not first language English speakers.
The programme offers guidance to trainees to start their own schools within their communities and assists teachers in acquiring the skills required to pursue a career in the classroom.
First Children also provides hands-on mentoring, opportunities for teachers to make Montessori educational materials for the classroom and workshops for childminders and parents.