44 learners start pre-primary education at new educare facility in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, 15 March 2023: Early childhood development is essential to equipping a child to live a fulfilled life. Many areas in South Africa are under-serviced in this regard. Now, one shopping centre is stepping up to help. The Balfour Mall in Johannesburg has made some of its retail space available and funded the development of a Scatterlings early childhood development centre. This caters for the needs of pre-primary school children in the community, with 44 little learners having just started 2023 on a high note at the facility.

During the first three years of a child’s life, 50% of their intellect is developed, with a further 25% being developed by the age of six years. During these crucial early years, 80% of brain cells form connections in response to external stimulation. It is these connections which contribute to the overall Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of the child. Consequently, parents and/or other caregivers have only six years in which to develop the full potential of  children in their care.

It is well documented that integrated programs in early childhood development (ECD) can do much to prevent malnutrition, stunted cognitive development and insufficient preparation for school. Years of research have shown that these programmes can improve primary and secondary school performance, increase children’s prospects for higher productivity and future income, and reduce the probability that they will become burdens on public health and social service budgets.

The almost 450 metre-squared Scatterlings creche at Balfour Mall has been thoughtfully designed to provide for all of the above and more. The new centre includes naturally-lit play areas, rest spaces, learning facilities, educational toys, and dedicated bathrooms, all serviced by a team of dedicated teachers and caregivers. Children will be provided with a healthy lunch and refreshments on a daily basis.

Scatterlings is run by a non-profit organisation that started in response to the need to cater to the early development stages of young South African children. Today, over 500 creches use their award-winning curriculum and learning programme that understands the importance of mental, emotional and social development. Teacher training includes recognising and identifying learning difficulties and special needs, health and safety, and various forms of assessment.

“We are honoured to have had the support of Investec Property Fund to bring to life a quality ECD centre in the Balfour Mall. Investec’s team were passionate, professional and committed,”  says Theresa Aaronson, Founder and CEO of Scatterlings. “The Scatterlings ECD Centre in Balfour Mall would not have been possible without Investec,” she concluded.

“Contributing to improving quality of life in South Africa is at the heart of our retail property business,” said Jenna Sprenger, CFO Investec Property Fund. “With education being so fundamental to empowering people and shaping society, we are pleased that we could contribute to fulfilling this need with this exciting project,” she added.

While the Scatterlings at Balfour aims to accommodate 70 learners this year, the facility has capacity to increase that number in years to come.


For more information, kindly contact:

Jenny Griesel

Jenny Griesel Communications

Tel: 083 406 3444 | jenny@jennygriesel.co.za

Notes to editors:

For more information about Balfour, please visit https://balfourmall.co.za/

For more information about Scatterlings, please visit https://www.scatterlingsecd.com/

For more Press Releases pleas visit the following link: Press Releases – NGOConnectSA

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