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Annual Report 2012/2013


Tracy van der Heyde: ELRU Director

An attorney with a Master’s degree in Commercial Law, was the Exec Director of the Non-profit Consortium (NPC), which specialised in advocating for Non-profit law reform and the provision of legal and other support services to NPOs. She guided the NPC in bringing about significant law reform in the areas of tax and company law for NPOs. She played an instrumental role in obtaining a landmark judgment for Land Claimants to claim a solatium for trauma suffered as a result of forced removals. She is passionate about children, having joined ELRU in 2006 as a Trustee and now as director since November 2012.

Richard Brown I am pleased and proud to present ELRU’s 35th Annual Report. This year we celebrate 35 years of being in operation. It has been a challenging, rewarding and incredible journey and we remain committed to our vision of working to ensure that young children are able to reach their full potential. ELRU’s contribution to the ECD field over the past 35 years has been significant – we have been a leader in the field and have developed many innovative and exciting programmes to facilitate the development of young children. ELRU is recognised locally and nationally for its pioneer role in the ECD field and has won numerous awards for our publications and programmes. While we, at ELRU, are proud of our achievements we remain humbled, particularly by the passion and commitment of the people we work with, who despite finding themselves in incredibly difficult and challenging conditions – in some of the poorest and most remote areas of our country and with very little resources – remain positive and continue to bring hope and joy to young children. Along the journey we have also had many friends – Staff who have devoted their lives who have come and gone, Funders and Partners who have supported us in good times and in bad and Trustees who have been with the Board since its inception and who unselfishly give so much of their valuable spare time. To all A Big Thank you because without your passion, creativity, commitment and positive staying power and attitude ELRU would not have been here today. We look forward, and consider it a privilege, to be able to continue working with our many partners and friends in reaching our vision for young children.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR I am excited and privileged at having been given the opportunity to lead such a vibrant and dedicated team and work in a field that has always been close to my heart. My transition as a Trustee to the Director has come at a time when the organisation was going through a period of significant challenges which resulted in the retrenchment of seven of our support staff members. The challenges however, has also resulted in a process of deep introspection and reflection and culminated in the revisiting of our strategic direction and objectives in order to effectively optimise our services. It has seen a renewed commitment, on the part of ELRU, to place the child at the centre of our work. In this respect, we recognise the historical challenges affecting the full development of children and believe that an integrated and holistic rights based approach to early childhood development will contribute to the reversal of the impact of decades of underdevelopment, poverty and inequality on impoverished communities and vulnerable children. Our purpose then is to strengthen the institutional capacity within the ECD landscape. Our approach is to work collaboratively with communities, child carers, parents and ECD professionals to promote and enable an integrated and holistic rights-based approach towards the development of young children. The survival, protection, development and participation of young children are central to our strategy of supporting the provision of holistic integrated ECD services to vulnerable children. These services include a focus on the provision of Quality ECD programmes; advocating for children’s rights; nutrition; health and social protection. This work is guided by the following strategic objectives:

OVERVIEW Established in 1978, ELRU is a research, training and development agency working in the under-resourced urban and rural communities of South Africa. The organisation has developed a range of strategies to support parents, caregivers and teachers to provide good quality programmes for vulnerable young children. ELRU’s work as a pioneer in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector is well regarded, and the organisation is an important resource for both civil society and government. Its strong research capacity is a significant advantage in this regard. To date ELRU has trained more than 90 000 ECD teachers, trainers and community workers, more than 466 organisations with an outreach to 6 million children. The scope of our work extends beyond the borders of the Western Cape Province as we have projects throughout South Africa, Africa and overseas.

ELRU’s 35 year history can be divided into three phases: 1978 - 1986 – Building ECD - Addressing the void in early childhood development and putting a strong base of training, support, research and materials development in place across South Africa and beyond; 1986 - 1994 – ECD as a tool for transformation - Policy development and the promotion of dialogue through research, conferences, seminars and dissemination of articles and papers; 1994 - 2013 – Consolidating ECD Practices - Supporting policy implementation, and engaging with Government differently – as both consultant and service provider to reach more children with good quality programmes; 2014 and beyond – Child at the centre of our work – Delivering an integrated package of essential ECD services.

The organisation’s accomplishments are numerous: • One of the first non-governmental organisations, across all sectors, to be awarded full accreditation by the ETDP SETA to offer accredited training up to Level 5. • The first ECD non-governmental organisation to be accredited to train assessors. • Pioneered Training of Trainers in ECD in 1983 and provided support and monitoring as well as capacity building to many participating ECD NGOs in all provinces. • Pioneered the Family and Community Motivator (FCM) programme in the 1980s as an alternative to centre-based ECD. Presently, 65% of young children are currently outside of provision. • An independent study in 1986 (Van Den Berg and Vergnani) concluded that “practically all paraprofessional preschool training in SA is either based on ELRU methods or is notably influenced by them.” • Pioneer of anti-bias work in education in the early 1990s. • A leader in ECD materials development. Materials include multi-lingual training manuals and children’s books. • Research expertise utilised by several prominent international agencies as well as the National and Provincial Government, Donors, other NGOs. • Has participated in and been awarded numerous government tenders. • ELRU was the first organisation to conduct an RPL process at Level 5 for teachers and trainers – the first candidates qualified in 2007.

Our strategic programme objectives are facilitated through our project work where practice focuses on the provision of training, community development, research and advocacy services in support of integrated and holistic ECD programmes. With more than 3 decades of experience within the ECD sector, ELRU’s work is endorsed by relevant state agencies, civil society networks, local and international funders. ELRU is therefore well placed to play a leading role in delivering a holistic and integrated package of services to children most in need.

• ELRU training methodology and materials are recommended by the ETDP SETA. • The FCM book is launched titled: The Family and Community Motivators – The frontline of support for vulnerable young children. • ELRU receives The Presidential Education Service Excellence Award. • ELRU becomes part of two very large consortia to improve quality in ECD. • ELRU plays a significant role in the policy process around the Children’s Act. • FCM training extends throughout South Africa.


VISION Young children are the foundation of nation building. ELRU’s vision is: Young children developing to their full potential.

MISSION To meet children where they are in delivering an integrated and holistic package of services that meet the developmental needs of the child.

ACHIEVEMENTS in 2012 • IMPUMELELO GOLD AWARD for our Family and Community Motivator (FCM) programme • UNICEF ABSA ECD AWARD for our SEEDS publication In the Garden for the category Best Publication of the Year

During the year a number of funding agreements came to an end and ELRU found itself in a precarious financial position, where its cash flow showed that the organisation would have to use a large portion of its reserves in order to sustain itself in 2013 and beyond. Consequently, a decision was made by the Board to restructure the organisation, which resulted in a cost cutting and retrenchment exercise. The retrenchments, along with one retirement and a resignation, reduced the permanent staff complement to 18 from the previous 26. Particular emphasis was placed on ensuring that the training arm of the organisation stayed intact whilst reducing the administration overhead, ensuring that ELRU is able to deliver on its programmatic work, without comprising the operations. The year in review has ended on a positive financial note where we received an unqualified financial audit and surplus in the amount of R866 786.00. ELRU is now on a more secure financial footing and the situation has given us the opportunity to review the way we do things and to look for improved and less costly ways of achieving our aims.


Research indicates that 65% of children do not have access to ECD centres. The quality of early childhood development and care for vulnerable communities is inadequate and generally poorly supported. Despite the policy commitment to early childhood development, implementation in the poorest communities lags behind. ELRU’s integrated family based work as expanded on below is in direct response to this context. The Family and Community Motivator (FCM) programme is a community development programme working with children and parents in their homes. It provides a holistic play and stimulation programme in the home using a toy bag. The FCM, who is recruited from the community, visits a family twice a month. The caregiver is part of the session and is encouraged to continue the activities when the FCM is not there. Caregivers are encouraged to use learning opportunities in the home and by creating their own bag using improvised material in their environment. The play and stimulation session includes planning for language development, physical development, cognitive development, social and emotional development. The FCM programme is also a parent programme. It is an integrated ECD programme and will assist the caregivers in accessing services for young children. It raises awareness about how children develop and learn; their responsibilities as the child’s first teachers; health and nutrition amongst others. The programme support to the caregiver is to assist her to be more responsive to her children / and that it is a way of reaching families who never come into the ambit of other ECD services. It is an out of centre programme.

Strategic Review and way forward:

Measuring a rights based (Community and Family responsive) ECD programme model ELRU will continue to build on the community and family based ECD work. Given its emphasis on a rights based programme model, we will endeavour to develop M&E mechanisms that will illustrate and showcase the impact of the community based ECD

Training programmes

Reach of our FCM Programme




Joe Slovo

Langa, W Cape




NW ECD Scale-up Project

KagisanoMolopo, N West



NW ECD Scale-up Project

Ratlou District, N West


NACCW (Nat Assn for Child Care Workers

Limpopo, KZN, N Cape


NGOs x 11 (Jim Joel Fund*)

Throughout SA

TREE FCM training



Soc Aux Workers

Ilifa & DSDWCPT Co-Ord














programmes. The emphasis on the M&E components is critical as demonstrated impact will ensure that we are able to ‘direct’ and ‘inform’ the work of the sector on programmes that have the maximum chance of success and greatest impact. M&E integration into all aspects of our work is an extension of our well developed and renowned research capacity within the ECD sector. Moreover, and through the work we have done with

A recent quality audit conducted by ELRU for the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape confirmed that poor quality is indeed widespread in early childhood development centres and that babies in particular are sadly neglected. The study also indicated that ECD sites located in areas in which children experience the most deprivation are of poorer quality than those attended by children experiencing the least deprivation. While this is not surprising, it indicates that children most in need are not receiving the level of care and stimulation needed to offset the deprivation they experience at home and in the community. In relation to the three major public interventions to improve ECD services (that is: training, increasing the number of subsidised children and promoting service integration), the findings support the need to increase the cadre of trained ECD personnel, and the numbers trained at higher levels. The recent development, of Grade R age being extended to 4 years, has resulted in children left behind in centres are increasingly between birth and 3 years only. At the same time the teachers who have all been trained at Levels 4 and 5 are leaving the centres and babies are left with those who have not been trained.

JJ Fund - Other FCMs*






organisations such as TREE, ELRU is demonstrating its capacity to act as a support and institution builder of organisations servicing the ECD sector. It is this capacity that will require stronger internal development as a focus on institutional building in the sector and will exponentially increase opportunities for access to the full basket of rights for young children.

Reach of our Training Programmes



Northern Cape




DSD Basic Skills Training




Maths and Science programme


False Bay College Level 4


Etafeni, Limpopo: Basic ECD Skills


Comprecare, Pretoria: Basic ECD Skills

Unemployed Youth


1800 750 1




City of Cape Town: M&E 10 ECD system ELRU has stepped into this lacuna and we are constantly developing new programmes and revising existing programmes in order to improve the quality of the training at ECD TOTALS 176 103 35 3210 centres. Although we do provide accredited training, more and more the focus has been on providing skills training rather than full qualifications, ranging from basic early childhood development training to training in facilitation skills for trainers of other organisations.

Strategic Review and way forward:

Increasing opportunities for professionalisation The right to learn remains a critical aspect of early childhood development. The professionalisation of the teaching corps that services the ECD sector is a critical process in the realisation of this right. ELRU’s capacity to provide education and training within a formalised occupation based environment is a central part of its pillar to increase the capacity of the sector

to deliver more and better quality opportunities for learning for young children. Our programme model requires greater integration between formal training and community based work as both aspects are equally significant in ensuring the holistic development of the child. ELRU continues to compete with the Further Education and Training (FET) sector in the provision

of formal courses and we will be looking more closely at the communities we serve through our community based ECD work as a ready and ‘captive’ target for our formal levels training. This, in our view, will support and augment the community based education and training programmes offered under programmes such as the FCM projects, opportunities for learning for young children.



ELRU’s research capacity remains a strategic asset for both the organisation and the sector as a whole. Our strategic thrust over the next 3 years is to ensure that this capacity is further harnessed at a programme level and to build firm second layer research leadership within ELRU and the sector more broadly. Given our greater emphasis on rights-based, holistic and integrative programming, research will continue to play a critical role in making sense of the work that we do and to inform quality and measure impact. ELRU recognises that our research initiatives must play an amplified role in advocating for the rights of young children and will continue to use its research capacity to foster relationships with governments and other relevant ECD stakeholders in addressing pertinent legislative, policy and programming issues.

The programme objective of our publications work is to provide good quality resources that are multi-lingual to support the work that we do in our training and community development. It is also our aim to supply the retail trade and tertiary institutions. The majority of our sales are generated through our relationships with FET colleges where students are doing courses in Early Childhood Development.

Participation in Sectoral Research Projects 2012/13

Essentially we are not profit oriented. Our sales approach balances the need to serve and the need to earn through a system of pricing that is sensitive to teachers and parents. Thus the proceeds from the sale of ELRU materials are used to further our work with young children and those who care for them.

The ECD Diagnostic Review Has significantly influenced both the Integrated Plan of Action for ECD 2013–2018 and ECD aspects of the National Development Plan. Contributing to the knowledge and discussion about training and professional development This included updating the ECD component of the ETDP SETA Sector Skills Plan 2013/4 and an audit of the ECD Non-Profit training sector for Ilifa Labantwana. The studies surfaced concerns about the provision of training, career paths and the respective roles of the NPO and public training sector. Together they highlight a critical need for intervention to avoid attrition of NPO training provision in the ECD sector. In partnership with the HSRC to OSISA ECDE project in Zambia, Malawi, and Swaziland (2012–2013) – a current project This is a participatory research project to inform local advocacy by finding out local priorities for young children (conception to school going age) and examining how policy and services are responding to these or not. The method has potential for informing community awareness raising and advocacy for ECD across the region and here in South Africa.

All training programmes are supported with ELRU materials. We make donations on a regular basis.

ELRU Publications sales and Free distribution 2012 - 2013 units

9366 12818

4070 Teacher Resources Childrens books and games Free distribution of Teachers resources

As the State is introducing a compulsory third language into the curriculum, ELRU, who has pioneered multi-lingual books since the early 1990s, publishes children’s books that are multi-lingual and anti-bias. We invite corporates and benevolent trusts to partner with ELRU by purchasing books to donate to libraries, container libraries, community centres and prisons as legacies to their names and generosity. We are open to the public as well. We invite you to partner to improve the three Rs – Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic!

ELRU Programme Research

Monitoring and evaluation of outcomes of our SEEDS Maths and Science programme and our Home Visiting programmes.

In-depth research project to provide evidence towards effective and efficient scale up of FCM programmes: Gwele, M (2013) The ELRU Family and Community Motivator (FCM) Programme: Reflections on implementing a family home visiting programme in support of vulnerable young children and their carers in South Africa. Cape Town: Early Learning Resource Unit. We also completed a paper and policy and practice brief on local and indigenous knowledge for ECD programming.

Advocacy • Submissions on the Review of the Children’s Act where ECD aspects will be brought together into a single chapter. • Input to the Draft Social Service Practitioner Policy consultative process which led to the inclusion of ECD as a separate area in the draft policy. • ECD representative of the Yezingane Network which is the Children’s Sector advisory body for SANAC. • Membership of the Provincial ECD Workstream in the Western Cape which has a transversal approach to planning and implementation. • Presentation at the National ECD Conference hosted by the Minister of Social Development on the Sobambisana Evaluation. • Presentations on ECD and on the Sobambisana Evaluation at the Poverty and Inequality Conference at University of Cape Town (UCT). • Contribution to a SAIDE reference group on Fundamental learning in the ECD sector. • Chapter for the 2012 Child Gauge on Early childhood development services: increasing access to benefit the most vulnerable children.

Strategic Review and way forward: Research and Advocacy in support of programme goals

Our strategic thrust over the next 3 years is to ensure that the research capacity if further harnessed at a programme level and to build firm second layer research leadership within ELRU and the sector more broadly. Given the organisational emphasis on a holistic and integrative programme model, research will continue to play a critical cross cutting role in making sense of the work that we do and to inform quality and measure impact. Critically, ELRU recognises that our research initiatives must play an amplified role in advocating for the rights of children as adopted under our programme model. The full complement of our research department’s work is featured on our website at

Jay Heale M.A. (Oxford), H.D.E. (UCT), SA’s foremost reviewer of children’s books and a teacher with 26 years of primary school experience, and some 30 years of involvement in the world of national and international books for young people had this to say about the series: “Do teachers of Mathematics and Science ever read children’s books? Well, they ought to – especially the “Maths and Science” series produced by ELRU. Firstly, the teachers concerned would enjoy the process and find a mine of practical ideas; secondly, their young pupils would benefit as a result (and enjoy the books as well). Eight of these ten books have the same pattern: the story of a visit to somewhere in the Western Cape, shown in colour photographs and with a simple tri-lingual text (in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa). At the end is a gold mine of ideas and information for teachers and parents”. This year’s CHATELRUs showcased the 4 year maths and science programme on the West Coast and Overberg. In 2009 a select group of 30 West Coast and 30 Overberg teachers embarked on a groundbreaking path to put in place life-changing interventions at their schools. Their goal: to transform their children into thinking, life-skilled learners through a Maths and Science Training Programme. Their tools: goal-directed planning and innovation.

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT Ackerman Family Trust Anglo American Chairman’s Fund Brimstone Investment Corporation Brodie Family Captain W D Hare Trust (BoE Private Clients) Colin John Campbell Trust (BoE Private Clients) DG Murray Trust, The ELMA Foundation Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Emthunzini BBBEE Community Trust – Santam Groundswell Trust Ilifa Labantwana Jim Joel Fund Impumelelo Award UNICEF Award Linda Biersteker Kaye Foskett Margaret Alice Nash Professor Richard van der Ross


Richard Brown (Chairperson) Elizabeth Engelbrecht Henry Wiggins Kanu Sukha Lynnette Matthews Nana Makaula (until April 2012) Beverley Barry Tracy van der Heyde (until September 2012) Zubeida Desai (until July 2012) Vernon Weitz Mayor of Cape Town (ex officio)

Auditors: RSM Betty & Dickson (Cape Town)

Staff Alison Lazarus

Director (until September 2012)

Tracy van der Heyde

Director (from November 2012)

Waseem Salie

Finance manager (until January 2013)

Zainab Abrahams


Nokwezi Manikivana

Support to capacity building teams

Linda Biersteker

Research director

Abigail Abrahams

Administration; Website, database (until January 2013)

Beryl Hermanus

Operations director

Adele Hendricks


Malibongwe Gwele


Jade Wasserman

Sales and marketing (until February 2013)

Bealah Jacobs


Nurjaha Khan


Brinthia Dawood


Hermoine Solomons


Linda Dlangamandla


Tamarind Segers

Sales and reception (from March 2012 to 25 January 2013)

Pat Birkett

Trainer (until December 2012)

Dorothy Davids


Phelisa Manyisane


Moeghedien Abrahams

Driver and stores

Unathi Mtyotywa


Umar Jacobs

General Administration (ECD intern) (until October 2012)

Ursula Segers


Karen van der Merwe

Trainer (until December 2012)

Blossom Ngwevela


Rafeekah Patel


Anya Morris


Sthembile Mkhwanazi

Trainer (until March 2012)

Elzette Louw


Financial consultant: Kaye Foskett


35 Celebrating


19 Flamingo Crescent Lansdowne, 7780, Cape Town South Africa Tel: 021 762 7500 Fax: 021 762 7528 email: