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…’

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.

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.

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.’

Theodora Kwaza

GROW with Sandiswa Educare Centre, Mitchells Plain

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"Virginia’s sister, Mirriam, told me about GROW with Educare Centres and she explained how everything worked."

" Then I heard from Precious that I did not have to pay a big lump sum of money to become a GROW franchise – I only had to pay a little each month. I was so excited to join GROW because it gives me the resources to help improve the standard of education in my school. GROW can help my teachers by developing them and showing them exactly how to use resources. GROW will also help me with the finances and administration of my school. It is a great help to me as a principal to have someone guide me. I like it that GROW will support me every step of the way."

Tembeka Luke

GROW with Nosango Educare Centre, Khayelitsha

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"I started my educare centre in 1997. We wanted to upgrade the centre and help the children get a better education for the future."

" Improved equipment would help with this. One of the teachers at GROW with Phillipi Educare Centre told me about GROW and I went to see the centre. I wanted to get something like that for my centre. So far, we have had teacher training and our centre is being upgraded, so that has been awesome."

Nontlawulelo Prudence Siwisa

GROW with Ruthy's preschool Educare Centre, Dunoon

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"We started in 2004 with 5 children. My sister started the educare centre and I was a volunteer at that time."

"The crèche had grown so fast and my sister said to me we can call the parents and say that we can split the kids and put the 1 - 3 year olds at my house, as there were 70 kids in total. The parents were so happy and I started with 13 of them in March 2013. After I started I used my service knowledge to work with the parents, they believed in me as they got beautiful service. In the second year there were 40 children. As you see now my vision is to bring a better education to our children, to give them the quality and the love and care and to give them the safe place to stay. That is my Vision. As a young person I also want to help more in the community, as there are so many youths without jobs. I now have 6 teachers and I want to create more jobs."

Khanyisa Matholeni

GROW with Inamandla Educare Centre, Khayelitsha

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"I started to think about opening an ECD centre because I wanted to do something different from the other ECD's to give the children love, even if the parents don't give them enough love."

"I started my ECD in 2010 at my father's house in J Section, Khayelitsha. I had 20 children. During this time I went to Northlink College in Parow to get my level 1 and 4. At that time I had nothing, not even tables and chairs. The parents brought some books and toys. After 2 years I decided to move the ECD to my house. Some of the parents took the children out as our standards were low and it was a difficult time, as there was no money to fix my centre. I then met Nosi, who is a GROW principal and she took me to Grace's school to show me the centre. I thought like WOW when I saw her centre, and I asked them to give me the contact details and I called Lisa. I was later accepted by GROW with Educare Centres to join their programme."

Jennifer Crossley

GROW with Generations Educare Centre, Kensington

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"I would leave home and be in the train by 7am and home by 6.30pm, then I would still have to collect my child at the crèche."

"That opened my eyes that there is a need for people like myself who work those hours. So I realised that if I stay at home and look after him myself, I can also take other children. So in 1998 I started by taking a few children. In 2007 I got permanent on the school as a Grade R teacher. At that time I handed the crèche over to my sister, Berenice, and she ran the crèche. In 2016 I moved to work at the crèche and we moved the school to where we are now. Then one day when I had been to Shoprite I saw this sign: GROW with Mayazi Educare Centre. I looked at it and decided to pop in there. I got the phone number of the principal and made an appointment. She explained to me how GROW helped her and gave me the information. I then phoned Lisa. I felt that we had potential but no equipment and GROW could help with that."

Nonkoliseko Eunice Qavile

GROW with Little Starts Educare, Khayelitsha

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"I started the school with my sister, Xoliswa, and we had 8 children, including my little one."

"I have recently received my new registration for 34 children. Our introduction to GROW with Educare Centres was when we met Joyce in Grassroots when we did the programme there and went to see her school. I thought, 'Wow this is beautiful, everything is here. The children learn properly and they can play.' Now my school has been improved and all the equipment delivered. The children are happy, so happy and excited. I am happy."

Valerie Abrahams

GROW with Val's Educare, Learn and Grow Educare, Mitchell's Plain

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"I said to myself, I have learnt enough and I want to do something for myself."

"Been in the desert now for very long. I then started with 5 children in our house in 2012. After that as the number of children grew I moved to the garage. In that year we grew very fast to 30 children and we had a waiting list of 100. We got registered in 2013. I was then selected by GROW and here I am. It's been a very emotional journey."

Monica Mulqueeny

GROW with Monica's Kidz Academy Educare Centre

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"When I was first introduced to GROW with Educare Centres, I was very excited to be a part of an organisation that would offer me business support and help with my teachers and most importantly the children in our community."

"I needed help to plan and to be able to lay a firm foundation to ensure that my school reaches stability. Grow with Educare Centres has helped to motivate me and my teachers to stand out from the other schools by offering quality education and resources to our children. We now have a clear and well-planned programme, with valued support in the classroom and for me in business that will ensure that our school produces the cream of the area. As the principal, I needed to take positive steps to improve mine and my teacher's knowledge, skills and attitudes."

Romany Roberts

GROW with Sunbeam Educare Centre

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"Early Childhood Development is something I am extremely passionate about and my love for children, developing the holistic child in an inviting and stimulating environment."

"I loved the warmth when I first met Tara, chatting to her was easy but she also believed in the GROW with Educare concept and that got me thinking, how I could become part of a recognised brand in education. At the open day I loved the presentation done by Lisa and I felt extremely excited because this was exactly the opportunity I needed to take my school to a higher level, bringing the best education and educational program, further development of ECD and continued mentoring and monitoring. My teachers will grow and become the best-trained teachers creating a perfect learning environment for the children in our care. I wanted to belong to a brand that makes me proud and I am confident that every child in our centre will enjoy every day, making future leaders."

Jabu Luthull

GROW with Beth Abba Educare Centre

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When I first met GROW it was like an answer to my prayers for all the needs I had. When they presented themselves to Phinduvuye, it gave me the courage to fulfill the vision I had to bring the model C class to the community."

"And also for the community it would be such a benefit to the children to have this standard of education. GROW are the lifesavers, they opened up the light where there was darkness. So Phinduvuye can stand true to its name - Phinduvuye means "BE HAPPY AGAIN"

The support we are getting from GROW it is like they cuddle us, they walk with us, the training they are giving us, we are not walking alone in this journey. The weekly classroom mentoring and the monthly financial budget meetings have been such a help, but what really helps is the ongoing contact and meetings and support offered by the GROW team.

Bright Zondi

GROW with Siyabaphesphisa Creche Educare Centre

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"I have decided to join GROW with Educare Centres because I saw an opportunity to develop and challenge myself."

"I want new skills, new techniques, knowledge and exposure that will lead to transform my teachers, the children and our society. My dream is to see Siyabaphephisa to reach international standards. What I heard when I attended the GROW with Educare Centres open day presentation I developed an interest that GROW with Educare Centres would be able to assist me to achieve my dream. I also felt that GROW with Educare Centres would develop my capacity and uplift my self-esteem together with my educators that will impact positively towards early childhood development and diversity in the classroom and the children in our care. I am excited to see my teachers grow in all levels of education, the way they teach, the way they conduct themselves, improvement on presentation skills the way of handling challenges when dealing with the children."