Meet the Franchisees

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Virginia Ndzakana

GROW with Mayazi Educare Centre, Maitland

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Before, Virginia’s childcare centre lacked resources, qualified teachers, proper planning and programmes, learning materials, policies and procedures, tables, mattresses, blankets and nutritious food.

Now, the school looks good and has all necessary resources. Virginia proudly states that the ‘parents recruit other parents by recommending my school as the best school/crèche in Maitland.’ The teachers have a sense of freedom in the way they work with the children and Virginia. The children are happy, healthy and responsive. They are eager to come to school and don’t want to leave at the end of the day.

Virginia has grown in confidence and enthuses, ‘I’m so proud to be the principal of Mayazi…I want to tell the GROW team to keep up the work that you are doing. May God bless you all…’

Patricia Ulana

GROW with Thubalethu Educare Centre, Khayelitsha

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Before, Patricia didn’t have educational toys, mattresses, furniture and outside equipment – there simply wasn’t enough money.

Now, the school looks beautiful and she pays staff salaries, buys food, and draws a salary for herself. She and her staff have been fully trained and teach more effectively using a daily routine.

She is grateful that her centre now has a waiting list and the community is talking about it. Her learners ‘even want to go to school on weekends’. Patricia herself has less financial stress and is constantly growing her knowledge and business management skills.

Florence Jacobs

GROW with Four Jays Educare Centre, Maitland

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Before, Florence’s centre did not have any kind of structured curriculum guide that ensured her children developed during specific developmental stages.

Now, she says, children are developing rapidly in all sorts of ways all the time. They also have learnt to appreciate and take care of the centre’s resources – having had so little before. The children no longer fight over resources, says Florence, ‘they make use of every moment to experience and learn’.

Florence doesn’t worry anymore: not about the smooth running of her centre nor the extra expenses, as she has a carefully constructed business plan that ensures all aspects of her centre run efficiently and effectively.

Connie Siggaba

GROW with Philippi Village Educare Centre, Philippi

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Before, Connie worked at schools with no access to mentors and had to find her own way with limited resources.

Now, she occupies a space at Phillipi Village that is conducive to learning and makes it easy for her to market her school to the surrounding community. Her teachers are trained and teach the children in the right way. Connie says that the bright classrooms with beautiful posters and charts ‘give them courage to teach and enjoy their job as teachers. Just by looking at the classroom you become excited.’

The children are thriving and developing: they follow the programme; they enjoy the toys, puzzles, blocks and the characters; and the Grow equipment is excellent for their development.

Connie says, ‘I am very grateful and proud to be part of the Grow team. I am also learning how to do my finances. The Grow team is helping me to grow as a person.’

Grace Mtshengu

GROW with Reaching Stars Educare Centre, Khayelitsha

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Before, Grace says her childcare centre looked ‘horrible’. It didn’t have an outside yard, toys, furniture or study materials.

Now, it is clean, well-equipped and safe. Her school is well known in the community and people come to see it because it looks better than the other centres.

Grace feels that her educare centre is now a better business. She has learnt so much about running a business and, also, more effective ways to deal with children.

Joyce Cwayi

GROW with Ulutho Educare Centre, Mitchells Plain

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Before, Joyce had no access to mentorship or business skills. She says that prior to joining the GROW franchise, they were ‘just playing with the children and not educating them’. They had furniture, a daily programme and non-educational toys – but no further resources.

Now, her school looks different; it is well-equipped and follows a more structured programme. Joyce comments that ‘even the social workers and health inspectors are impressed’. The children enjoy going to school and learning in two languages and the wonderful equipment contributes to their education.

As for Joyce, she feels proud, empowered and responsible in her new role of running a business.

Precious Petros

GROW with Masakhe Educare Centre and Reading Club, Nyanga East

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Before, Precious’s school was chaotic and overcrowded, and the teachers had no training. Now, there are enough fully trained teachers for the number of children. The building looks different and the way of teaching has totally changed.

Precious is delighted that the children don’t want to leave each day. She has noticed great improvements in the children’s learning and enjoys the fact that the themes are taught in English and Xhosa.

She is empowered by the salary she now earns (previously she earned nothing) and enthuses, ‘I feel very proud and I want to show my centre to other people.’

Samantha Werth

GROW with Sam’s Educare Centre, Mitchells Plain

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Before joining GROW with Educare Centres, Sam used another educare programme but had to find the resources herself. She only had a few posters and had no space for outside play.

Now, she has seen a huge transformation. As she says, her school is ‘not an aftercare but an educare centre (a place for learning)’. She has an outdoor play area, equipment, resources and new furniture.

The children’s levels of education are improving and they ‘play and learn at the same time’. Sam has learnt how to do her finances. She has a way to go before her salary increases, but this should change in the near future along with the number of enrolments.