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What Happens at ECD Facilities?

It’s a common misconception that children are automatically prepared to start Grade 1. In reality, they need a strong early learning foundation before attending formal school. By enrolling in an Early Childhood Development (ECD) facility, they can develop the necessary skills and emotional maturity to succeed in Grade 1.

ECD facilities like preschools and creches are designed to provide children with a safe and nurturing environment where they can learn, grow, and develop the necessary skills for success in school. These facilities offer a wide range of activities and experiences that encourage children to explore, experiment, and learn through play. Here are a few things that happen at ECD facilities: 

1. Children follow a routine

A good preschool follows a daily programme. It is important that children have a routine to help them navigate their day. If children live their life never knowing what could happen next it can cause stress. 

2. Socialise with children their age

Making friends is a skill! From a very young age, children need to practice interacting and playing with children their age. This helps them develop social skills and emotional maturity. When children are isolated, it may lead to them feeling as if their needs are more important than anyone else. Learning how to share and be part of a team is an essential skill for formal school.


One of the most important things your child will do at preschool is play. This has so many benefits. While using their muscles and developing strength in their body, play also allows for creative thinking and stretching of their mind.

4. Learn Basic numeracy and literacy

There are foundational skills that children should have before entering Grade 1. These include numeracy skills like learning to count, how much is more and how much is less, and literacy skills like recognising letters and their sounds and building three and four letter words.

5. Learn independence

Attending preschool helps children get used to being away from their primary caregiver. It teaches them to stand on their own two feet, and how to follow instructions and be part of a class. Initially children should be able to follow simple instructions like – “Andile, put the red pillow onto the bed.” As they grow and develop they should be able to follow more complex instructions such as “Andile, put the red pillow on the bed and switch off the light”. This translates to them following instructions like, “Pack your lunch box away and line-up quietly by the classroom door.”

Overall, attending an ECD facility is an important step in preparing children for success in Grade 1 and beyond. It provides them with the foundation they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally, setting them on a path towards a bright and successful future. 

Read How to Choose an ECD Facility for your Child