Philile was founded upon the vision of a South Africa where every child has access to quality pre-school education. There is a significant body of evidence that points to ECD being foundational to the building of communities and society as a whole.
The National Development Plan 2030: Our Future, Make it Work, has prioritised ECD in recognition that, in addition to it being a fundamental human need, access to quality ECD services can make a significant contribution to the reduction of inequality and poverty in South Africa, as well as building the economy.
Recent statistics reveal that 41% of 3 – 5 year-olds in the poorest 40% of South African households do not attend an early learning programme, in comparison to only 17% of those in the richest 20% of households. In 2015 it was revealed that 62% of children live below an upper bound poverty line of R965 per person per month.
This means that a significant amount of South Africa’s children are still not exposed to adequate ECD. It has also been shown that children in the poorest schools enter school at a disadvantage, scoring 20% less in maths and home language than children in schools that are better-off. This indicates major deficits in cognitive and language ability that have already accrued by age 5. Though South Africa has made great strides in improving access to education, with a gross 97% rate of attendance and a 92% pre-school attendance rate in 2015, this has not necessarily translated to improved educational outcomes.
In 2015, 87% of 10 to 11-year-olds had completed grade 3, and only 70% of 16 to 17-year-olds had completed grade 9.
Philile wishes to strengthen its two existing ECD centres in a way that will not only enhance their current pre-school services, but will also expand their reach into the other essential components of ECD, with the ultimate goal of building communities and the future generation of South Africa.
The Philile values of excellence, creativity and integrity form the basis of all they do. Every staff member, child and volunteer is encouraged to operate from integrity, through creative expression and with excellence. Philile is constantly looking for new and better ways to achieve their vision. They inspire their staff and children to take on routine concepts and create something fresh and improved. They have an integrated and holistic approach to education, which includes wellness, nutrition, sport, environmental awareness, entrepreneurship and the personal development of each child. Play-based learning develops the fundamentals of mathematics, language concepts, innovation, problem solving and creativity.