Through consultation with stakeholders including Dipaleseng Early Childhood Association, Topsy implemented an Early Childhood Development (ECD) project in April 2014, to provide for the holistic development requirements of children in their formative years, encompassing physical, cognitive, social and language development needs. The Topsy ECD project aims to ensure children between the ages of 0-6 are emotionally and physically nourished.
The Topsy Early Childhood Development Project includes the implementation of a central educational toy library which distributes on a rotation basis specialised educational toys to 23 under resourced pre-schools and 1 stimulation centre for intellectually and physically disabled children in the impoverished Dipaleseng district of Mpumalanga.
In addition to the provision of specialised equipment to encourage play activities to develop young children in the areas of numeracy and literacy, Topsy provides training to teachers and principals of concept of Early Childhood Development and the equipment provided. Topsy will also assist the pre-schools with basic management and site development to create a stimulating environment for the children.
Children who have benefited from ECD projects have improved social and emotional behaviour, are less likely to drop out of school later in life, and have increased earning potential as adults. Ultimately, studies have shown that high quality stimulation through Early Childhood Development programmes gives children a better chance of breaking the poverty cycle.
The future aims of the project would be to develop Early Childhood Development staff and assist pre-schools in compliance with government standards and registration.